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What’s it all about? Funding opportunities
The BAHS is the national society for the study of the history of agriculture, rural society and the landscape of Britain and Ireland. We publish a magazine, Rural History Today, as well as a scholarly journal, Agricultural History Review, and our conferences provide opportunities for historians (professional and non-professional) to meet, mix and exchange views in a friendly and sociable atmosphere. We have a fund available to support otherwise unfunded Conferences and Initiatives. If you are considering holding a conference, workshop, special meeting or something similar, why not apply?   We also offer bursaries to student members who want to attend our conferences and other meetings supported by the Society.
News: The BAHS announces the Joan Thirsk Memorial Prize Fund.

It just got much easier to join the BAHS because we are now set up to use PayPal.
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Fill in an online form and pay via PayPal. You will also be able to renew your membership in this way.
Agricultural field in Africa with people on a bullock cartRegister now for the International Conference on the Global Challenges of Rural History to be held in Lisbon, 27 to 30 January 2016. The last date for registration at the regular price of €140 (students €75) is 15 December, after which the price increases.
New publication

Her Price is Above Pearls: Family and Farming Records of Alice Le Strange, 1617-1656, edited by Elizabeth Griffiths

Cover of book

Published by the Norfolk Record Society
Alice, the wife of Sir Hamon Le Strange of Hunstanton is fast emerging from the documents as a C17th phenomenon.

The consummate housewife and manager of domestic affairs – her grateful husband noted that ‘her price is above pearls‘ – was also farmer, estate manager and guardian of the family finances.

The book includes a selection from her vast archive, including her sheep accounts, the early records she kept for her own estate at Sedgeford and her summary of the family finances.
Calls for papers BAHS Conferences
Announcing a special collection, Feeding cities in history – the rural geography of urban food security. Paper submission deadline is 31 January 2016.

Badge of Lincolnshire Record Society A 1-day conference on Lincolnshire Agriculture, Rural Life and Labour will be held on 23 April 2016. Deadline for paper proposals on topics such as food production, rural unrest, monastic estates, enclosure, women’s labour, rural customs, labour mobility etc is 22 January.
The BAHS Winter Conference, ‘Occupations, work and gender in rural Britain’, will be held on 5 December 2015 at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, London.

The speakers will be Richard Smith, Jane Whittle, Leigh Shaw-Taylor and Nicola Verdon.
Read Rebecca Ford’s report on the 2015 Spring Conference.
Read Matthew Homewood’s report on the 2014 Winter Conference, ‘Rural Worlds on the Move’.
Next year’s BAHS Spring Conference will be held at Wortley Hall, near Sheffield, 4 to 6 April 2015.
Wortley Hall in parkland
Recent publications Workshop: Social and environmental impact of robotics and autonomous systems in farming
The next issue of Agricultural History Review is now in preparation. It includes articles ranging from C13th England to C19th Italy via C18th Sweden; from ‘second-tier’ manorial workers to new entrants to the landed classes, with articles on the draining of coastal marshes in Norfolk and a note on ‘town ploughs’. Rural History Today issue 29 is now available, with articles by Nicola Verdon about the WI as it celebrates its centenary year and by Susanna Wade Martins on some of the sources for studying the Victorian rural clergy.

Please send items for the February 2016 issue by 31 December.
A one-day workshop to be held at Harper Adams University on Thursday 14 July 2016 as part of the International Farming Systems Association Conference.

Keynote speakers: Professor Simon Blackmore, Director of the UK National Centre for Precision Farming (Harper Adams University) on ‘The potential for robotic and autonomous systems to transform global farming practices’; Professor Phil Macnaghten (University of Wageningen, The Netherlands) on ‘A framework for responsible innovation – lessons learned from GM crops and other technological innovations’.

Closing date for paper submissions is 21 December. Offers of posters will be sought in due course. For more details see the conference website.
LIBRAL: the Library of Irish and British Rural and Agricultural Literature Work in Progress Announcements
As a first step to creating this resource for rural historians, we have compiled a catalogue of 18th- and 19th-century literature on agricultural topics that have already been digitised and are available on a variety of Web sites. This is just the start.

Brittany cow

We plan, over the coming months, to scan and digitise many more volumes ourselves, making them available here. The idea is to allow you to search across multiple volumes to find the topics that interest you.

Image of a Brittany cow from Dairy Stock by John Gamgee (1861), one of the many volumes already in LIBRAL.
The Work in Progress list, formerly published in Agricultural History Review, is now has over 70 entries, together with an online form for you to create your own entry, which will only take you a few minutes. Researchers listed here have reported other researchers contacting them as a result, making it a valuable resource. Rural History 2017, the 3rd conference of EurHO, will be held in Leuven, Belgium, September 11-14, 2017.