About the Institute for History
General information on the Research Institute for History
The Leiden Institute for History is one of the seven research institutes of the Faculty of Humanities. The institute is responsible for the main part of the historical research carried out at Leiden University.
The Institute was ranked 19th in the 2012 QS World University Ranking, and as such number 1 outside the English speaking world. The Institute has a broad and wide-reaching academic scope. Its strong international orientation and focus on the study of European, American, Asian and African societies in a global context gives the Institute a unique character, both in the Netherlands and beyond.
Other research institutes of the Faculty of Humanities:
Leiden University Academy for Creative and Performing Arts
Leiden University Centre for Linguistics
Leiden University Institute for Area Studies
Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society
Leiden University Institute for Philosophy
Leiden University Institute for Religious Studies
The research of the Insitute for History is subdivided into five specialisations:
- The Unification of the Mediterranean World
- Collective identities and transnational networks in medieval and early modern Europe, 1000-1800
- Political Culture and National Identities
- European Expansion and Globalisation
- Migration and Global Interdependence
The academic leaders connected to the specialisations are internationally renowned scholars, who engage in numerous networks, contribute to important conferences and publish with outstanding academic presses.
The Leiden Institute for History has chairs in various fields, like Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern, Contemporary, Maritime, Social, Economic, Dutch, American, Latin American, Caribbean and Southeast and East Asian History. Besides, adjacent departments in the Faculty of Humanities have chairs in Turkish, Indian, Korean, Chinese and Japanese History.
The vicinity of many libraries, institutes and museums in Leiden and the National Archives and the Royal Library in The Hague, at ten minutes travel distance, makes do research in Leiden all the more attractive.
The two-year Research Master in History is an accurate reflection of the academic range of the Institute. The programme on offer allows for an in-depth knowledge of one of the five specialisations and pays specific attention to the development of theories on historical processes, historiography and methodology of historical research. The two-year Research Master in History is an excellent preparation for a PhD in history. Some of the attractions of the Institute’s PhD programme are the tailor-made supervision of the students, the participation of the students in the monthly Institute’s graduate seminar and the opportunities students have to gain experience in administration and teaching.
History is being taught in Leiden from the days of Justus Lipsius (1547-1606). In 1860, following the appointment of Robert Fruin as Leiden professor of Dutch History, modern historical investigation started in the Netherlands. Ever since the history department of Leiden University has expanded rapidly. In the past period the Leiden Institute for History has been the home of a substantial research staff and about 40 research master students and 25 regular PhD students per year.