This volume is the culmination, at least for the time, of an old project. It might be said to have had its ultimate origin in the presidential address of the late Sir George Prothero before the Royal Historical Society, 19 February 1903, which was an appeal for the preparation and publication of a general bibliography of Modern British History. Five years later, at the meeting of the American Historical Association at Richmond, Virginia, 30 December 1908, the chairman of a conference on research in English History proposed for discussion the production of such a bibliography as one of the most immediate needs of scholars in that field. The proposal awakened a ready response and was discussed at length by Professor R. E. Catterall of Cornell University and Professor A. L. Cross of the University of Michigan, who had been appointed to open up the subject, and by some six or eight others. There was the greatest variety of opinion, some proposing an exhaustive work for the whole modern period, others a practical check list for the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; some advocating, others deprecating, the proposal to make it a joint enterprise with English scholars, the latter fearing delay and differences of approach to the subject. All agreed that it was high time some such work should be prepared and that it should be in the nature of a continuation of Gross's Sources and Literature of English History. It was a time of especially dose relations with Great Britain; several of the most active members of the Association had studied much in England, and it was therefore natural that the suggestion should prevail that the work should be a joint one, if possible, carried out by representatives of the American Historical Association and the Royal Historical Society.
In accordance with the recommendations of the conference the Council of the Association appointed a committee, of which the writer of this introduction was made and has remained chairman. The other members of the committee were Professor Cross of the University of Michigan, Professor Merriman of Harvard, Dr. Richardson, librarian of Princeton, and Professor Williston Walker of the Hartford Divinity School. Changes have been made since, as death, loss of interest, or pressure of other duties have made retirement necessary, and others have taken their places, among them Dr. Conyers Read, then of the University of Chicago; Professor Wallace Notestein, then of Cornell University, now of Yale; Dr. Caroline Ware of Vassar College; and Godfrey Davies, then of the University of Chicago, now of the Huntington Library. The Royal Historical Society accepted with readiness an invitation to join in the work and early in 1909 appointed a committee consisting of Sir George Prothero, formerly Professor of History at Edinburgh, and at that time editor of the London Quarterly Review, chairman; Sir Charles Firth, then Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford; Dr. Hubert Hall of the English Public Record Office; Mr. R. H. Tedder, Treasurer of the Royal Historical Society; and Sir Adolphus Ward, Master of Peterhouse. Later Dr. G. P. Gooch . . .