History

The University of Leeds has been an international hub of excellence for Medieval Studies since 1967, when the Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies (GCMS) was created. The predecessor to the Institute for Medieval Studies (IMS), the GCMS was one of the first centres in the world dedicated to the study of the Middle Ages; it is believed to be the oldest interdisciplinary centre in the University.

Concurrently, the International Medieval Bibliography (IMB) was launched at Leeds by Professor Peter Sawyer, the pre-eminent Anglo-Saxon historian. The first IMB catalogue used a card system with three reference points; today, the IMB includes over 500,000 records and over 120,000 index terms across digital and print formats.

Every year since 1994, in the first week of July, the University of Leeds hosts the International Medieval Congress (IMC). The main aim of the Congress is to provide an interdisciplinary forum for discussion of all aspects of the Middle Ages (300-1500). In 2018, the IMC celebrated its 25th Congress – with nearly 3000 delegates attending.

These pages will give you an insight into the history of Medieval Studies at Leeds – and a glimpse of what the future holds.