Study areas, archives, reference material and a medieval city on your doorstep...

As a postgraduate student at the Centre for Medieval Studies, you will have access to a wealth of world-class resources to support your studies.

These include:

The King’s Manor library and study facilities

The King’s Manor library has rich collections of books on medieval art, architecture and stained glass, and contains the collected dissertations of previous MA students. You can also make use of a variety of study areas for both group work and quiet study, including a common room, PC room and PhD workroom.

Linne Mooney

Humanities Research Centre

The University’s Humanities Research Centre on campus is a valuable resource for postgraduate students. It has been created to foster interdisciplinary relationships and support activities across the arts and humanities at York.

It offers career development for postgraduate students through workshops and interdisciplinary training programmes, funds research projects and events, and offers fellowship funding to third-year postgraduate students. There are two floors of wireless study space for MA and PhD students, with views over the lake and woods on campus, perfectly located for trips to the central JB Morrell library.

The Borthwick Institute for Archives and JB Morrell Library

Based on the University of York main campus, the Borthwick Institute is one of the biggest archive repositories outside London, containing material from the 12th century to the present day. It is regularly used by staff and students for research and teaching.

The university’s main JB Morrell Library houses extensive collections of books, journals and e-resources across all disciplines related to medieval studies, and offers a range of flexible working spaces.

York Minster Library and Archives

Medieval manuscript

York Minster Library is a short walk from the King’s Manor, with a collection of some 120,000 volumes. It is particularly useful for books on medieval theology, ecclesiastical history, medieval art and architecture (especially stained glass), and medieval York and Yorkshire. Students at the CMS also have access to the York Minster Archives, with its collection of archives and manuscripts.

British Library at Boston Spa

A short bus trip away from York is the British Library resource at Boston Spa. It offers students an invaluable opportunity to access any document from the entire British Library collection.

The city of York and York City archives

Perhaps the greatest resource is the city of York itself. No other city in the UK can rival York as a place to study the Middle Ages, and teaching and research at the CMS makes full use of it. In terms of medieval buildings, York is still dominated by the Minster (whose treasures include the most complete collection of medieval stained glass in Britain) and its medieval city walls.

The York City Archives has an extensive and unique collection of civic records, which are widely used by both staff and students at the CMS.

The Yorkshire Museum contains large collections of medieval artefacts and antiquarian records which MA students regularly use in learning, research.

The Yorkshire region

Further afield, but only a short field trip away from York, are some of the greatest medieval abbeys in England, including Fountains, Rievaulx and Jervaulx, important castles like Middleham, Bolton and Skipton, and the deserted medieval village of Wharram Percy.

York students

Student in library


“I’m interested in the pre-modern city, so the strength of York’s civic archives was a huge advantage. I’ve also drawn a lot of inspiration from the fabric of the city itself, walking along the streets and using the same spaces as people who lived here in the past.”

Pamela Hartshorne (MA in Medieval Studies 1993-95)


“Access to the Minster Library and the Borthwick Institute was very helpful, as well as being able to study local architecture and other institutions such as the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall and the Glaziers Trust.”

Abigail Wheatley (MA in Medieval Studies 1996-1997)‌