Harrison was Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford from 1996 to 2004. He was additionally the editor of Oxford Dictionary of National Biography from January 2000 to September 2004 (succeeded by Lawrence Goldman). Since 2004, he has been an emeritus fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.
Harrison has published extensively on British social and political history from the 1790s to the present. His first book was Drink and the Victorians. The Temperance Question England 1815–1872 (1971, 2nd. ed. 1994), based on his doctoral thesis entitled The temperance question in England, 1829–1869. His most recent publications are two volumes in the New Oxford History of England series covering British history from 1951:
For a complete list of his publications see his entry in 'Google Scholar' at https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?hl=en&user=UrPsiyUAAAAJ
Harrison was appointed Knight Bachelor in the 2005 New Year Honours for "services to scholarship". He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) on 30 July 2005. He is also an elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS).
- "HARRISON, Professor Sir Brian". British Academy Fellows. British Academy. Archived from the original on 14 January 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- See online review
- National Life Stories, 'Harrison, Brian (1 of 25) National Life Stories Collection: Oral History of Oral History', The British Library Board, 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2017
- "Fellows - H" (PDF). Royal Historical Society. October 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- The British Academy (2005). "British Academy Fellows Archive". Retrieved 22 December 2005.[dead link]
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2017). "Editors". Retrieved 26 April 2017.
- Interviewed by Alan Macfarlane 22nd June 2012 (video)
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