In the field of British history the Newberry is unusually rich, covering the Middle Ages through World War I.
Serial sets of printed primary sources are a major strength of the British history collection. These types of sources would include:
- Publications of official bodies, such as Record Commissions, P.R.O and Historical Manuscript Commission
- Publications of national societies, such as Catholic Record Society and Huguenot Society of London
- Nearly complete holdings of national and local historical society publications in any part of the British Isles
Other special strengths include:
- Recusant books, pamphlets and manuscripts written between 1559 and 1829
- 19th century British political pamphlets, with heaviest concentration the first six decades
- 17th century British pamphlets
- 18th and 19th century periodicals
- Irish History
- Local histories and records
- Travel literature
- Biography, autobiography, memoirs
- History of learning, education, libraries
Most English-related manuscript holdings are in the Ayer Collection, and relate to voyages, travels and cartography. Newspapers is one area that is far from comprehensive. However, the Newberry holds the bibliographic tools necessary to support historical research in British history and prepare for research in British archives and manuscript collections.