Friday 9 October 2009

Regional history - where is Bedfordshire?

From time to time the editor of BHRS has been offered articles for publication and has had to turn them down because the Society has no plans to publish a collections of essays and does not publish a journal. It has been possible to suggest a few journals to which the articles could be submitted as there are academic journals for the history of most subjects and periods.

It was less obvious which regional academic journal would include Bedfordshire because the county can fall into a bewildering range of regions. Is it in central England, the Chilterns, East Anglia, the east midlands, the home counties, the midlands or south midlands or ... where? In addition to a journal's territorial coverage, authors also have their own definition of Bedfordshire's regional place so that, frequently, when looking for the Bedfordshire content of an article with an appropriate regional coverage, it is lacking.

At the Local History conference at the University of Leicester in July this year, I talked to the publisher of Midland History about this problem and discovered that I was talking to the right person. Midland History, published by the University of Birmingham is the place for articles about Bedfordshire. According to the publisher's information (Maney Publishing) -

"Its aim is to publish scholarly work on the counties of Bedfordshire, Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. It is a refereed journal which prints articles on midlands topics: from professional and amateur historians alike, locally based and from overseas."

It would be good to find that in the journal's thirty five volumes there were a lot of articles specifically about Bedfordshire. But alas, only three articles had the words Bedford or Bedfordshire in the title. Is there anyone out there reseaching and writing about Bedfordshire to fill this gap?

No comments: