Welcome to Exe Libris: the UK History of Education Society’s Online Bibliography. Here you can search for articles published in the leading historical journals founded or edited in the British Isles since 1939, and in selected international journals specialising in the history of education.

Welcome to Exe Libris: the UK History of Education Society’s Online Bibliography. Here you can search for articles published in the leading historical journals founded or edited in the British Isles since 1939, and in selected international journals specialising in the history of education.

The Nature and Purpose of Exe Libris

Background
Between 1971 and 1986, the History of Education Society (UK) published a series of Guides to Sources in the History of Education,1 along with lists of theses completed in the field (annually, 1969-1990).2 With the opportunities afforded by information and communication technology, it is now possible to revive and bring up to date such resources and to make them much more flexible and adaptable in use. Moreover, it is highly desirable in an increasingly competitive funding environment for Learned Societies to seek new ways to keep their fields of study at the forefront of scholarly attention and to offer services so as confirm their place at the heart of academic endeavour. On this basis, we decided to approach the History of Education Society (UK) with a proposal entitled Exe Libris: The UK History of Education Society Online Bibliography (in association with the University of Exeter). This sought (i) to revive the provision by the Society of an updatable bibliographical service, so as to help members keep track of significant but scattered secondary sources as they appear, and (ii) to make accessible to scholars a substantial bibliographical database which we had accumulated over a number of years. In regard to the second aim, as part of an earlier set of projects, we had already compiled a card index of just under 3,000 articles on the history of education published in the leading historical journals of a general kind founded or edited in the British Isles between 1939 and 2005. Included also was a range of specialist titles including all those concentrating on the history of education. In total 56 journals were covered by the card index (Appendix I). The entries include all articles, editorials and obituaries, but exclude book reviews and ‘notes and news’ items. Furthermore, each entry was analysed and coded according to categories relating to: periodisation (seven eras from antiquity to the present); geographical parameters (comparative, British, imperial and other countries) (Appendix II); and specific subject areas (94 categories organised around 19 broad themes) (Appendix III). Similar categorization facilitated an analysis of the scale and patterning of UK journal articles covering the history of education.3

Phase I
During 2007-09, the History of Education Society (UK) generously sponsored the transposition into an electronic format of the card-index of c.3,000 articles on the history of education published in the 56 UK historical journals between 1939 and 2005, and the employment of a web-designer to create a searchable, online bibliographical resource. The present website is the result of that project. It allows users to locate articles via a general search or via an advanced search. Both methods can locate articles on the basis of the following criteria: author; title; keyword(s); historical period; geography; specialist area; cross-referenced specialist area; articles comprising bibliographies; articles on historiography of education; journal; and date or date range of publication. Furthermore, because we are keen that the bibliographical resource should do more than traditional search engines, we have provided a number of additional features. First, we have developed a Tag Cloud derived from an index of keywords extracted from the titles of the entries. This visual representation of the data, which illustrates the popularity of keywords through varied font sizes, provides an innovative exploratory route by which users can access the content of the database. Second, each search result provides the opportunity to export the bibliographical information to a citation manager (e.g. EndNote Export) and is accompanied by links to further information sources that might provide the full-text of an article (e.g. http://scholar.google.com). Third, the search engine is compatible with ‘pocket PCs’ and ‘Smart telephones’ to ensure easy access to ‘ICT-literate’ scholars wherever they are. Fourth, we have provided a number of interactive features which mean that users are able to provide personal evaluations of the entries via comment boxes and a rating system; to provide suggestions for further reading and research links; to propose corrections to entries; to re-code entries using the original categories; and to code entries using new categories. We are aware that our categorization of articles is subjective and potentially controversial, and for this reason, it is exciting to be able to provide users with the opportunity to provide their own additional categorizations.

Phase II
In 2009, the UK History of Education Society provided further funding which allowed Exe Libris to be updated to include all articles published in the previously selected journals between the beginning of 2006 and the end of 2008.

Phase III
A key advantage of an electronic resource such as Exe Libris lies in its flexibility, allowing us to update and expand its contents in order to ensure that it continues to be a useful tool for researchers. The most recent phase of the database’s development, supported once more by funding from the History of Education Society (UK), took place between January and July 2012 and focused on two main tasks. First, we extended coverage of articles published in the previously selected list of historical journals up to the end of 2011. This update has seen around 400 articles catalogued and categorized for inclusion in the bibliography. Second, we expanded Exe Libris to include articles from four major international journals specialising in the history of education: ANZHES Journal (1972-1982) and History of Education Review (1983 onwards), the journals of the Australia and New Zealand History of Education Society; History of Education Quarterly (1961 onwards), the journal of the United States History of Education Society; and Paedagogica Historica (1961 onwards), the journal of the International Standing Conference for the History of Education. As a result of this expansion, over 2,200 articles have been added to the database. The decision to cover these major international journals is designed to ensure that Exe Libris becomes a more comprehensive tool for researchers, allowing them to access a broader range of literature and encouraging scholarship of an international, transnational or comparative nature.

As a result of the most recent phase of work, some alterations have been made to the categories used to ‘code’ the articles. This has been necessary to reflect changing patterns of research and new areas of inquiry, and also to adopt current terminologies where appropriate. For example, category 3.1 was previously titled ‘the Churches’, perhaps as a result of the bibliography’s origins in a country with a predominantly Christian heritage and its initial focus on British journals, but this has now been expanded to encompass other religions as well.   In making such changes, however, great care has been taken to ensure that the categories have not been altered so greatly as to undermine the validity of earlier categorisation work. As ever, users of Exe Libris are welcome to offer their own suggestions about how articles have been categorized.

Future Capacity and Potential Benefits
The capacity of the database to incorporate almost any new bibliographical data means that it can expand and develop to meet the future needs of the History of Education Society (UK), as well as the wider international community of historians of education. Exe Libris is not the only online bibliographical resource available to historians of education. Existing on-line resources include the following:

 

The specific merit of our resource compared to those just listed is that it is focussed solely on articles on the history of education rather than other historical fields. Moreover, it allows historians of education to search the literature of their field (i) by subject, period and geography and (ii) for articles on the historiography of education and bibliographical tools/lists; it provides added value through innovative features that are not provided by more traditional search engines, such as the Tag Cloud and interactive functions; it is flexible and adaptable to ensure that it can be updated to match the requirements of the Society; and, through future expansion, it is developing the potential to become a comprehensive bibliographical resource in terms of dates of publication and genre.

Already, Exe Libris has proved particularly valuable for undergraduate and postgraduate students and other researchers who are new to the field of the history of education because it highlights the breadth and depth of the field; has a clarity of focus; quickly engages students and new researchers with the most relevant literature in their chosen area; and serves as a highly effective springboard to other databases. In this regard, it helps the History of Education Society (UK) to encourage and support new researchers in the history of education and secures the Society’s website as the ‘natural’ first destination for researchers entering the field. A large proportion of those who access Exe Libris do so having found the database via an internet search engine, rather than through the link from the UK History of Education Society’s website and this means that Exe Libris can also work to introduce people, perhaps especially new researchers and non-UK based visitors, to the Society.

We very much hope that all researchers - new and experienced - will continue to support the development of this new resource by trying it out and interacting with its features.

Notes

  1. M. Argles, British government publications in education during the 19th century (History of Education Society, 1971); J. E. Vaughan, Board of Education circulars: a finding list and index (History of Education Society, 1972); J. M. McCarthy, An international list of articles on the history of education, published in non-educational journals, 1965-1969 (History of Education Society, 1973); D. W. Thoms, The history of technical education in London, 1904-1940 (History of Education Society, 1976); S. M. Parkes, Irish education in the British parliamentary papers in the nineteenth century and after, 1801-1920 (Cork University Press, 1978); V. F. Gilbert, Theses and dissertations on the history of education, presented at British and Irish universities between 1900 and 1976 (History of Education Society, 1979); M. Argles, British government publications concerning education during the twentieth century (History of Education Society, 1982). J. S. Hurt, Education and the working classes from the eighteenth to the twentieth century (History of Education Society, 1985); and R. Szreter, The history of education in non-education learned journals 1939-84: an annotated bibliography of references (History of Education Society, 1986).
  2. See also Richard Szreter, ‘History of Education in Non-Education Learned Periodicals: Bibliographic Supplement 1985-1986’, History of Education Society Bulletin, 40 (1987) 9-12.
  3. See the appendices in: W. Richardson, ‘Historians and educationists: the history of education as a field of study in post-war England Part I: 1945-72’, History of Education, 28(1) (1999) 1-30; W. Richardson, ‘Historians and educationists: the history of education as a field of study in post-war England Part II: 1972-96’, History of Education, 28(2) (1999) 109-141; W. Richardson, ‘British Historiography of Education in International Context at the Turn of the Century, 1996-2006’, History of Education, 36(4&5) (2007) 569-593.

 

Authors
Dr Rob Freathy is Senior Lecturer in History of Education at the University of Exeter. His main areas of research interest are religious education and education for citizenship in 20th century English education.

Dr Marie Dunkerley is an Associate Research Fellow at the University of Exeter. Her research interests are colonial education in sub-Saharan Africa, missionary involvement in education, and colonial/metropolitan educational exchanges.

Professor William Richardson is General Secretary of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference and Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter.

 

Appendix I: The 56 journals comprising the original card index

Appendix II: Periodisation within the bibliographic database

A

Bibliography

G

1750-1868

I

1911-1963

B

Historiography

a

Long period from 1750

a

Long period from 1911

a

England and Great Britain

b

International & comparative

b

International & comparative

b

Comparative, other countries

c

England: general

c

England: general

C

General Histories

d

England: specialist studies

d

England: specialist studies

D

Ancient World (pre-500CE)

e

Wales, Scotland, Ireland

e

Wales, Scotland, Ireland

E

Medieval World

f

Empire

f

Empire, Commonwealth

a

General

g

Other countries

g

Other countries

b

England

c

Other countries

H

1869-1910

J

1964 to present

F

1500-1750

a

Long periods from 1869

a

Long period from 1964

a

General

b

International & comparative

b

England: general

b

England

c

England: general

c

England: specialist studies

c

Wales, Scotland, Ireland

d

England: specialist studies

d

Wales, Scotland, Ireland

d

Colonies

e

Wales, Scotland, Ireland

e

Other countries

e

Other Countries

f

Empire

f

Other fields of history

g

Other countries

g

International & comparative

Appendix III: Subject Areas within the bibliographic database

1

1

Educational ideas and influences

11

1

Industrial companies

2

1

Organisations and movements

2

Work-based learning (inc. apprenticeships)

2

Globalization

3

1

The Churches, religions, and education

12

1

Women and girls’ education

4

1

Policy and administration: general

2

Genders compared

2

The state, policies, planning, administration

3

Genders in education

3

Political parties and movements

13

1

Libraries, museums and education

2

Educational broadcasting and media

4

Legislation, official reports, parliament

14

1

Literacy and books

5

Finance and economics

2

Textbooks

6

Whitehall, central departments, control

15

1

Special educational needs, disability and disadvantage

7

Inspectorate and educational officers

2

Education and welfare

8

Local administration, school boards, LEAs

3

Reformatory education / delinquents

9

Government agencies (AISC, TECs)

16

1

Youth movements and service

10

Architecture and physical spaces

17

1

Curriculum: general

11

Colonial education policy

2

Arts and craft

12

Grand tour: Education overseas

3

Classics

13

Educational leadership

5

1

Education, home and family

4

Commerce

2

Childhood and youth

5

Drama

6

1

Pre-school, nursery and infants

6

English

7

1

Schools: general

7

Foreign language

2

Elementary schools

8

Geography

3

Primary schools

9

Grammar

4

Grammar schools

10

History

5

Bilateral schools

11

Irish

6

Comprehensive schools

12

Music

7

Secondary modern schools

13

Physical Education

8

Secondary technical schools

14

Poetry

9

Chantry and endowed schools

15

Religious education

10

Education for the poor

16

Rhetoric

11

Private and ‘public’ schools

17

Science: general

12

Other schools

18

Biology

8

1

Higher education, universities

19

Geology

2

Colleges of education

20

Mathematics

3

Higher Education and Dissenters

21

Physical sciences

4

Medical colleges / education

22

Technical education

9

1

Adult and workers education: general

23

Industrial education

2

Further education and continuation day schools

24

Professional education

3

Evening education

25

Vocational education

4

Community colleges

26

Moral education

5

University extension classes, extra-mural

27

Education for citizenship/national identity

6

Adult residential

28

Sex education

7

Armed forces

29

Home Economics

8

Working class parents

30

Economics

31

Careers / Employability

9

Mechanics Institutes

18

1

Qualifications and testing

10

Other adult and workers’ education

2

Training schemes

11

Child employment / apprenticeship

19

1

Race and ethnicity

10

1

Teacher training

2

Role and status of teachers, headteachers, principals

3

Teachers’ organisations

4

Salaries and conditions