BA (Oxon), DPhil (York), FRHistS, FSA
Sarah Rees Jones is a senior lecturer in Medieval History and recent co-director of the Centre for Medieval Studies. She works on medieval urban history, with special interests in the history of citizenship and townplanning. She is a member of the Medieval Urban Household Research Project and of the York Archaeological Trust.
The major focus of Sarah Rees Jones’ current and future research interests is in urban society and culture in England between the Norman Conquest and the Reformation. She is currently completing a monograph on Medieval York between the Norman Conquest and the Black Death which investigates the development of collective communities in the city from individual households to communities of civic and ecclesiastical government. Her contributions to the forthcoming Historic Towns Atlas for York and her work with the York Archaeological Trust provide a continuing platform for this work on English towns in the central middle ages. In March 2010, together with Sethina Watson, she organised an international interdisciplinary conference on York 1190: Jews and Others in the Wake of Massacre with financial support from the British Academy.
Recent research is focused on developing better access to archival resources for the study of locations, sites and buildings within historic cities, especially York. A grant from JISC enabled the organisation of a workshop in September 2009 on 'The Cultural Heritage of Historic European Cities and Public Participatory GIS'. She is now working in partnership with the Human Computer Interaction Research Group of the Department of Computer Science.
Their new joint project, ChartEx, was announced in January 2012. Funded through the international Digging Into Data challenge, this project aims to develop new software services to support the sensitive analysis and interpretation of digital historical records, in this case charters (or title deeds) which are among the most abundant of sources for studying local communities between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries.
A further focus of her research is the history of domesticity in the middle ages. She is a member of the Medieval Household Research Group. These interests are now being developed in collaboration with the York Archaeological Trust in a project on material cultures of urban domesticity and poverty over the longue durée which was awarded three AHRC collaborative PhD awards on ‘Possession, consumption and choice: three studies of the material culture of domestic goods in York and Yorkshire 1400-1900’ together with Natasha Glaisyer and Kate Giles (Archaeology).
Sarah Rees Jones has supervised ten successful PhD students on a range of topics relating to medieval English social and cultural history including David J. F. Crouch, Christian Liddy, Debbie Cannon, Charlotte Carpenter, Sharon Wells, Matthew Holford, Pam Hartshorne, Jayne Rimmer and Louise Wheatley.
The J.B. Morrell, King’s Manor and York Minster Libraries contain excellent collections of journals, secondary works and printed primary sources to support research in medieval English urban and rural history. The city also houses four major collections of medieval archives for the city and the northern province, including exceptionally rich collections of ecclesiastical, civic, and guild records. Other local archives contain major medieval collections for the urban and rural history of Yorkshire and the north. Students undertaking research degrees may also want to take advantage of resources both nearby both in the British Library Lending Division at nearby Boston Spa and in the archives of North Yorkshire (Northallerton) and West Yorkshire ( Leeds). York has excellent communication links to libraries in Leeds, Manchester and elsewhere in the North, and is conveniently placed for research in London.