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British Victorian Period Research: British History Dictionaries and Handbooks

This is a guide to doing research on topics about 19th-century Britain and Ireland, meant to be be useful to students in English literature and in history. Last updated 06-01-2023

British History Dictionaries and Handbooks

Oxford Companion to British History

Short entries for quick facts. 12015 edition available in Main in hard copy DA 34 .O93 2015.

Encyclopedia of British History 1500-1980

A resource for British history students online.  More than 2,000 entries.  Use with caution.  Entries are not individually signed.

Historical Dictionary of British Foreign Policy Main DA 45 .N48 2013

Several hundred entries on important people, places, and events in British and Northern Irish foreign policy since 1782, when the Foreign Office was created.  List of abbreviations of organizations. Chronology from 1702-2012.  Introductory essay. List of British prime ministers and foreign secretaries, with dates of service. List of permanent undersecretaries at the Foreign Office, with dates of service. 18 page overall bibliography at end of book arranged chronologically, covering 19th and 20th centuries.  Length of entries: a paragraph to a couple of pages.  All entries by the author, who is a specialist on appeasement and on British policy towards Vietnam.

Historical Dictionary of the British Monarchy  Main DA 28.1 .P27 2011

Chronological dictionary of monarchs.  Biographies of monarchs and royal consorts (wives).  Line of succession. Genealogical charts.  Extensive bibliography on the subject.  500 pages of biographical, topical, and geographical entries.

Daily Life of Victorian Women Main HQ 1596 .M87 2014

Covers experiences and roles of women from all socioeconomic classes of Victorian England. Eight chapters address  religion and death, family and home, health and sexuality, child rearing and education, wage labor and professional work, and urban life. Chapter source notes, chronology from 1828 through 1903, an extensive bibliography, historic black-and-white photographs, sidebars with interesting facts, and an index. Info from ARBA Online.

Oxford Companion to Black British History

DA 125 .N4 O94 2007 Main
The Oxford Companion to Black British History explores the subject from its beginnings in Roman times to the present day.

Encyclopedia of the Victorian Era

DA 550 .E527 2004 v. 1-4 Reference

Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism  Reference JC 359 .P335 2016 v. 1-2

Presents prominent themes, epochal events, theoretical explanations, and historical accounts of imperialism from the beginnings of modernity and the capitalist world system in the 16th c. to the present day.  Especially emphasizes 20th c. events, etc. around the world.  Imperialism defined: the military, political, legal, and/or economic control of one people's territory by another, so that the subject territory is made to relinquish resources, labor, and produce, for little or no compensation.  This work examines how imperialism has impacted societies in the Third World and how it shaped social relations and popular perceptions in the First-World countries of Europe, North America, and Japan.  Not a straight forward A-Z dictionary arrangement.  Instead there are chapters of signed entries on: biographies of significant persons, country and regional analyses, culture and the arts, history, movements/ideologies, political economy, and themes/concepts.  Many articles have lengthy further reading references.  The contributors are academics from around the world.

Workhouse Encyclopedia  Main HV 8749 .G7 H54 2012

Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism Since 1450  JV 22 .E535 v. 1-3 Online

Victorian Britain, an Encyclopedia

DA 550 .A18 1988 Main

1890s : an Encyclopedia of British Literature, Art, and Culture

DA 560 .A18 1993 Main

British Empire: a Historical Encyclopedia  DA 16 .B693 2018 v. 1-2 Main

New A-Z of Empire, a Concise Handbook of British Imperial History

Main JV 1011 .F384 2011

Short entries for persons, places, events, with further reading references.  "Compendium of all things British imperial..." from the revolt in the American colonies in 1776 to post World War II.  Concentrates on things of empire not transition to Commonwealth.

British Empire, an Encyclopedia of the Crown's Holdings, 1493 Through 1995

DA 16 .S84 1996 Main
Chronological table of major events. Arranged by place name (such as country, island, etc.) and covers all British possessions acquired since 1600 and some before. Entries give dates a British possession, location, and brief history.

Historical Dictionary of the British Empire Main DA 16 .P315 2015

Covers its history through a chronology, an introductory essay, appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 700 cross-referenced entries on important personalities, politics, economy, foreign relations, religion, and culture.

Dictionary of the British Empire and Commonwealth

DA 16 .P35 1996 Main

Longman Handbook of Modern Irish History Since 1800

DA 950 .F48 2005 Main

Historical Dictionary of Ireland (covers Northern Ireland also)

DA 910 .T39 2014

Menus from History, Historic Meals and Recipes for Every Day of the Year.   Main TX 645 .C534 2009 v. 1-2

Arranged chronologically from Jan. 1-Dec. 31st, providing a menu, with discussion and recipes for a meal that actually happened, somewhere, sometime  Gives date of the original event. Emphasizes historic meals from the U.S., the British Isles, France, and Europe, but offers a few from countries around the world.  There are not recipes for all the dishes, just some of them.  List of menus chronologically, list of menus by country, list of menus by occasion, glossary, selected bibliography, general index, recipe index.  Author is a culinary historian and food writer in Australia.  See her blog The Old Foodie.

Historical Dictionary of British Theatre, Early Period.  Main PN 2581 .G73 2013

Brewer's Dictionary of London Phrase and Fable Main DA 677 .W54 2009

Online edition is 2011.