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ALHA Publications Archive

From 1976 onwards, the then Avon Local History Association published a series of booklets and newsletters about history and archaeology in Avon. These have now been scanned, and are made available here in the form of pdf files, one file for each issue.

As well as the names of committee members, details of forthcoming events, and reviews of books, these publications also include articles of interest to local historians which are still relevant today.

The early series was named “Quest”, and using the best technology of the day, was produced using a stencil duplicator. Quest was generally undated, so an approximate date has been estimated from hints in the text.

In 1979, it was agreed to publish a journal jointly with Avon Archaeological Council. This was to be published twice a year and called “Avon Past”. It had better production qualities,but was still very much of its time. All of the Quest issues and volumes 1 to 9 of Avon Past were A4 size, but from volume 10 of Avon Past onwards, A5 size was produced, and over the years production standards improved, with professional typesetting and printing. Unfortunately, the publishing schedule often slipped, and you will see that no volumes were published between Autumn 1985 and Autumn 1987.

Making these publications available online would not have been possible without the hard work of scanning them, which was done by Mike Leigh. ALHA would like to place on record its thanks to him.

The Archive now includes Newsletters and Updates published since 2017.

Digital Downloads

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

Quest 1 - 1976

Quest 2 - 1976

Quest 3 - 1977

Quest 4 - 1977

Quest 5 - 1977

Quest 6 - 1978

Quest 7 - 1978

Quest 8 - 1978

Quest 9 - 1978

Quest 10 - 1979

Quest 11 - 1979

Quest 12 - July 1979

Avon Past 1 - Winter 1979

Avon Past 2 - Spring 1980

Avon Past 3 - Autumn 1980

Avon Past 4 - Spring 1981

Avon Past 5 - Autumn 1981

Avon Past 6 - Spring 1982

Avon Past 7 - Autumn 1982

Avon Past 8 - Spring 1983

Avon Past 9 - Autumn 1983

Avon Past 10 - Spring 1985

Avon Past 11 - Autumn 1985

Avon Past 12 - Autumn 1987

Avon Past 13 - Autumn 1988

Avon Past 14 - Spring 1989

Avon Past 15 - Autumn 1990

Avon Past 16 - Spring 1993  Final edition


150 - March 2017

151 - June 2017

152 - September 2017

153 - December 2017
154 - March 2018

155 - June 2018

156 - September 2018

157 - December 2018

158 - March 2019

159 - June 2019

160 - September 2019

161 - December 2019

162 - March 2020

163 - June 2020

164 - September 2020

165 - December 2020

166 - March 2021


April 2017

May 2017

July 2017

August 2017

October 2017

November 2017

January 2018

February 2018

April 2018

May 2018

July 2018

August 2018

October 2018

November 2018

January 2019

February 2019

April 2019

May 2019

July 2019

August 2019

October 2019

November 2019

January 2020

February 2020

April 2020

May 2020

July 2020

August 2020

October 2020

November 2020

January 2021

February 2021

April 2021

May 2021

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