A network of local heritage groups

The Bristol Record Society Digitalisation Programme

Since 2015, Bristol Record Society has been working on a programme of digitisation, in line with its core mission to make available materials needed for studying the history of our extraordinary city. While the Society began this initiative with the electronic publication of its own volumes, it has now moved on to other primary sources and scholarly works.

In association with the Bristol Branch of the Historical Association, the BRS digitised and e-published the 120 pamphlets produced by the BHA (1960-2007). These were the direct precursors to the ALHA book series.  

In the last year, the Society has also e-published electronic copies of a dozen out-of-print scholarly books that relate to the history of Bristol. These include: 

Joseph H. BetteyBristol Observed: visitors’ impressions of the City from Domesday to The Blitz (Redcliffe, Bristol, 1986)

Evan T. Jones & Margaret M. Condon, Cabot and Bristol’s Age of Discovery (University of Bristol, 2016)

C. M. MacInnes & W. F. Whittard (eds.), Bristol And Its Adjoining Counties (University of Bristol, 1955)

Patrick McGrath, The Merchant Venturers of Bristol: A History of the Society of Merchant Venturers of the City of Bristol from its origin to the present day (Society of Merchant Venturers, Bristol, 1975)

Recently, the Society has undertaken the digitisation of some of the topographical prints of 17th-18th century Bristol, owned by the Society of Merchant Venturers. These have been photographed in the Special Collections Department of the University of Bristol and are now being made available under a Creative Commons license. So any one in the world can now view, download and use high resolution images of these important artworks for free. Click here for a full list.

Scanning and e-publication of scholarly works is often cheap. The cost of professionally scanning a book can be as little as £20. However, if the work is rare, large or valuable it can cost much more. If you would like to support the BRS’s digitisation initiative and are interested in sponsoring a particular book, pamphlet or image, please contact its Digitisation Officer, Dr Evan Jones.  For more information, including a downloadable donation form, visit the Bristol Record Society website.  Dr Evan Jones, Senior Lecturer in Economic and Social History, Department of History, School of Humanities, University of Bristol, 0117 928 8971, evan.jones@bristol.ac.uk

Other organisations have similar programmes, and some of these are listed below:

Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society

Bristol & Avon Family History Society

Some BAFHS transcriptions are free of charge while others are available for payment

Wiltshire Record Society

Local Historian

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