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History research

Groundbreaking expertise spanning the globe. 

Our researchers are leading experts in their fields. They are committed to sharing knowledge and expertise with future generations of historians as well as people and organisations beyond academia.

We have a thriving and internationally renowned research culture and an impressive track record of securing grants for new projects.

The Research Excellence Framework 2021

  • Our Department’s research was ranked 3rd for impact and 11th overall in the UK in the Times Higher Education ranking of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. 87.5% of our research impact is rated at 4* - REF's highest rating.

Learn more about the 2021 REF results

Research strengths

We support all kinds of approaches to studying the past, ranging from economic and social history to political, religious and cultural history.

The body of globally-recognised research we produce pays testimony to our vibrant research environment and culture of continuing intellectual exchange. 

York possesses unique resources for the study of history. The Borthwick Institute for Archives houses one of the most extensive collections in the UK outside London and Edinburgh. The Minster Library is the largest cathedral library in the UK and holds material spanning 1,000 years of history.

We value the input of independent researchers, and we welcome Visiting Fellow applications from those who hold research or academic positions at institutions outside the UK.

Oil painting: L.L. Boilly, Vaccination scene. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY

Impact and engagement

We work with heritage organisations, non-government organisations and policymakers so that our research achieves impact.

We actively engage with the public through lectures and media appearances as well as through publications. 


Period-based centres

Much of our research is produced through York’s internationally renowned research centres which bring together expertise spanning the centuries from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Humanities Research Centre

We work closely with the Humanities Research Centre, an interdisciplinary hub for research in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at York.

Find out more about the Humanities Research Centre