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The British Agricultural History Society is pleased to bring you the digital Library of Rural and Agricultural History.

Agricultural or rural history – call it what you may – has been slow to take advantage of the digital age. We all know that there is a wealth of historical literature we would like to access, but it is locked in libraries. Even inveterate book-users have to admit that digitised texts are often easier to use and their infinite seachability is capable of revealing information that indexes or speed-reading cannot. So searches on ‘carrot fly’ or ‘harvest home’ or ‘maids’ can produce dividends.  

Why use LIBRAL?

Why use LIBRAL rather than your usual search engine? Search for ‘rhubarb’ on the Internet and you will find a lot of stuff about this plant but you'll have to hunt around a bit to find nineteenth and early twentieth century references to growing rhubarb. LIBRAL searches within the LIBRAL collection only, and we plan to provide even more constrained searches.


This is a test version of LIBRAL (also known as ‘LIBRAL 2.0’). We have uploaded over:
  • 200 ‘titles’
  • 288 separate PDF files
  • 26,235 pages
  • 5.2GB

Make a donation

LIBRAL is a service provided free-of-charge by the British Agricultural History Society, which is a registered charity (251851). Scanning books and periodicals and making them available costs money. Please make a donation support our work. Clicking the Donate button will take you to PayPal, where you specify the amount you wish to donate.

If you are a UK taxpayer, we would also appreciate it if you gift-aid it. (You can do them in either order.)
gift aid it


Just some examples...

Ellis, Chiltern and Vale Farming Explained (1745) (an example of a Multi-file document: the document has only one entry in the All Titles list but was split into multiple PDFs to speed download time)

Michael Turner's transcription of the 1801 Crop Returns (an example of a Series of related documents: each has a separate entry in the All Titles list)

General views of agriculture of the County of Fife, one of many 'General Views of Agriculture' in the B. Literature by country and county category.

Journal of the Farmers' Club (1914) [another example of a series]

One of a series of MAF leaflets and bulletins

One of the complete run of the Journal of the Forestry Commission (1922-69)