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Dr. Peter Crooks

Dr. Peter Crooks

Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer in Medieval History

Research Interests

I am a medieval historian specialising in the political cultures of Ireland and Britain in the later Middle Ages. I’m also the founding Academic Director of the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland (VRTI), which won the Trinity Innovation Award for Societal Impact. In 2022, the Archive and Record Association awarded VRTI its highest distinction, the ‘Roger Ellis Prize’ — only the tenth time the prize has been awarded in the past fifty years.

My primary research interest is in Ireland 1150-1550 and, arising from that, in the wider 'English world' or 'Plantagenet empire' of which Ireland formed an integral part. I am editing the New Cambridge History of Britain, vol. 2: 1100–1500. More generally, I have published on the comparative history of colonialism and empires, on the history of concepts, on historiography, the ‘social history’ of the archive, and digital humanities.

I am Director of Trinity’s MPhil in Medieval Studies, a member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission, a member of the council of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, and a Principal Investigator in ADAPT — the SFI Research Centre for AI-Driven Digital Content Technology.

In 2023, I co-edited a special issue of Analecta Hibernica (no. 53) on ‘The Fire of 1922’ in partnership with VRTI. I am also principal editor of a five-volume calendar of the medieval Irish Chancery Rolls, nearing completion for IMC.

Before returning to Trinity in 2013, I was a Past and Present Society Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, London, and a Lecturer in Late Medieval History at the University of East Anglia. At the Trinity Long Room Hub (2018 to 2021), I was the Academic Coordinator of the Multiannual Series entitled, 'Out of the Ashes: Collective Memory, Cultural Loss and Recovery'.

Together with Seán Duffy, I am editor of the Trinity Medieval Ireland Series. Five volumes in the series have appeared to date including works by Robin Frame, Donnchadh Ó Corráin and Katharine Simms.


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Articles and Book Chapters

  • ‘How to Reconstruct a Lost Archive in the Digital Age: The Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland, The Fire of 1922, and the Archival Loss and Recovery Model (ALARM)’. Archives et Bibliothèques de Belgique.

  • 2023
  • Peter Crooks and Lynn Kilgallon, ‘ “Of Old Time Annexed to Your Crown”: Documents on the Irish Parliament and the Crisis of 1441–2’, Analecta Hibernica, 53. Irish Manuscripts Commission.
  • ‘The Charter Reforged: The Red Book, Materiality and Ireland's Magna Carta’ in Law and the Idea of Liberty in Ireland: From Magna Carta to the Present. Irish Legal History Society.

  • 2022
  • ‘Colony’ in Using Concepts in Medieval History: Perspectives on Britain and Ireland, 1100-1500. Palgrave Macmillan.

  • 2021
  • ‘Bureaucracy’ in Information: A Historical Companion. Princeton, Princeton University Press.

  • 2018
  • ‘The Structure of Politics in Theory and Practice, 1210–1541’, in The Cambridge History of Ireland I: Medieval Ireland, ed. B. Smith. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • 2016
  • ‘Before Humpty Dumpty: The First English Empire and the Brittleness of Bureaucracy, c. 1259–1453’ in Empires and Bureaucracy in World History, ed. Crooks and Parsons. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • 2013
  • 'Reconstructing the Past: The Case of the Medieval Irish Chancery Rolls’, in N.M. Dawson and Felix Larkin (eds.), Lawyers, the Law and History: Irish Legal History Society Discourses and Other Papers, 2006-2011. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2013.

  • 2011
  • 'State of the Union: Perspectives on English Imperialism in the Late Middle Ages’, Past and Present: A Journal of Historical Studies, no. 211 (August, 2011), 1-40.

  • 2010
  • 'Representation and Dissent: “Parliamentarianism” and the Structure of Politics in Colonial Ireland, c.1370-1420’. The English Historical Review, 125:512.

  • 2007
  • 'The Arrest of Sir Christopher Preston and the Fifth Earl of Kildare in 1418: A Missing Membrane’, Analecta Hibernica, no. 40 [commentary and edition of National Archives, UK (PRO), E 101/698/34].
  • 'Factions, Feuds and Noble Power in the Lordship of Ireland, c.1356-1496’. Irish Historical Studies, 35:140.

PhD Supervision

I am interested in supervising doctoral research projects on many aspects of political culture and society in late-medieval Ireland and the wider English world, particularly projects that exploit the rich records produced in the medieval English colony in Ireland. Past doctoral students have examined the legal history and parliamentary culture of later medieval Ireland and the British Isles.

Postdoctoral Mentoring

I have the privilege of working with a large interdisciplinary research team associated with the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland. Additionally, I have mentored postdoctoral fellows funded by the Irish Research Council Government of Ireland postdoctoral schemes and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND. Former research fellows include:

  • Alessandro Silvestri (IRC Postdoctoral Fellow on ‘Empire or Composite State? Aragonese Rule over the Mediterranean in Later Middle Ages’)
  • Debs Thorpe (Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Fellow for 2017-18)

Dr. Crooks on the TCD Research Support System

Contact Details

Room 3147
Department of History
Trinity College
Dublin 2.

Telephone: +353 1 896 1790
Fax: +353 1 896 3995