Bloomsbury Cultural History | Reference eReviews

From family and food to memory and sexuality, Bloomsbury Cultural History covers an expansive list of themes throughout various periods of recorded history. Its versatility and accessibility appeal to a wide audience, making it especially useful to institutions that support the humanities. 

Bloomsbury Cultural History


Bloomsbury Cultural History covers a wide range of subjects (such as animals, childhood and family, food, marriage, memory, and sexuality), offering a survey of each topic’s place in Antiquity, the Medieval Age, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Age of Empire, and the Modern Age, with “thematic coverage” across all periods. Users can survey a theme broadly or dive into each period for a deeper look. The collection contains material from Bloomsbury’s six-volume “Cultural Histories” print sets, which updates each year. The collection includes more than 100 ebooks covering a variety of subjects related to social and cultural history, as well a selection of high-res images from the Wellcome Collection in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. An interactive time line offers a glimpse into 500 historical events related to politics, society, the arts, and science, providing users with an easy entry point into the collection.The collection was updated in mid-November, with new content added to “Cultural History” sets (new topics include sports, objects, and color), as well as additional ebooks and lesson plans.


The resource is easy to navigate, thanks to the many entries for exploration. Users can explore it by topic, period, and place, or access research and learning tools, and a how-to section, and the timeline. They can also browse volumes in the “Cultural History” series (a virtual shelf is featured on the main page) or dive into featured content. The “browse contents” tab provides additional browsing options, including ebooks and image collections. The advanced search function allows users to add multiple fields, narrow by year, and limit results by content type (book chapters, cultural history chapters, lesson plans, museums, museum objects, object case studies, or ebooks). Results can be filtered by date range, period, place, topic, content type, and access. Users can save a search and/or results to their personal account, and print, share, or cite resources, or explore related content links to access additional resources.


Bloomsbury Cultural History is available via subscription ($1,606 to $5,340) or perpetual access ($1,526 to $26,699), with hosting fees of $200 to $600 accompanying perpetual access purchases. Content updates will be available for separate purchase or included in the subscription price. Pricing is based on institution size and type. Consortia discounts may apply. Contact the publisher ( for detailed pricing information.


Another user-friendly research collection from Bloomsbury, this resource provides an in-depth introduction to cultural history. The browsing options offer an easy point of entry for beginners, while the advanced search tools and filter options add a layer of control for experienced researchers. The interdisciplinary nature of the collection makes it a good choice for institutions that support research in the humanities, history, philosophy, sociology, social sciences, and other fields. The availability of lesson plans is a bonus for educators.

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