The story of this site

This site began life not on the web, but in the classroom. I had created a handout for my students called Sources for Building History. It was utterly boring in those days - about 20 pages of lists. Because bibliographies and suchlike are too tedious to dictate to students in class, teachers will often produce reference sheets instead. They may be as exciting as the telephone directory, but they are just as useful.

So I found that there was a small but steady demand for copies of Sources for Building History from people I was not teaching. When I hooked up to the Internet, I realised that I could email digital copies free. From there it was a short step to someone suggesting a web version. Sources for Building History first appeared online in December 1998 thanks to the Internet-savvy David Bailey, who took the trouble to put it on a site he was then maintaining. When I gained my own web-space I used it for SBH in February 1999.

Oh the wonders of the Internet! It is the ideal place to publish something like a bibliography that needs constantly updating. And of course you can link up to related material on the Web. You can read more on my conversion to the joys of web-based teaching in Web-Guided Research in Building History.

Some course materials are available only on a university intranet. But this site has always been independent and free to all. That meant that many people were using it without the teaching that would help to make sense of it. So I gradually added images, guidance and background material. The site became a guide to researching historic buildings. I finally decided to change the title in November 2004. It gained its own domain in 2007.

Thanks to Anne Buchanan, Robin Bush, Sonja Cameron, Roger Davies, Geoff Evans, Rachel Gill, Peter Glass, Ruth Kamen, Corinne Mills and Colin Thom for additions and to David Bailey for encouraging me online.