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About Medieval History at Trinity

Medieval history has been integral to research and teaching at Trinity College Dublin since the nineteenth century when J.B. Bury (d. 1927), author of the first scholarly biography of St Patrick, was elected to the Erasmus Smith Chair of Modern History (1893). Edmund Curtis (d. 1943), who was appointed to the same chair in 1913, can lay claim to placing the history of later medieval Ireland (c.1014–1534) on a professional footing. Curtis advanced to the Lecky Chair of History in 1939, and that chair has been held by a succession of medievalists since 1951.

The Medieval History Research Centre has had a continuous existence since the 1960s, when James Lydon (who came to Trinity in 1959) founded a research seminar in medieval history. The seminar has run weekly in Michaelmas and Hilary terms ever since, and involves speakers drawn from the postgraduate and postdoctoral community at Trinity, as well as invited guest speakers of international standing.

In the 1970s Professor Otway-Ruthven acquired a set of rooms in Lincoln Place to provide a focal point for the Centre’s activities. The Centre later relocated to 192 Pearse Street, but is now located in Phoenix House on South Leinster Street, directly opposite its original home in Lincoln Place. The Centre has excellent research facilities including a Wifi-enabled suite of rooms used for research, seminars and teaching.

At the core of the Centre is a thriving postgraduate and postdoctoral community of researchers. Our graduates excel and many have gone on to prestigious appointments in academic institutions across the world.

Last updated 21 August 2015 (Email).