Centre for Early Modern British and Irish History

Oxford’s History Faculty has one of the largest concentrations of Early Modern British scholars in the world, and has long been a centre of excellence in the promotion of research in this field. It also has a strong reputation in the training of young historians. The library and archival resources for the study of British history are enormously rich and diverse, and the University offers a stimulating environment in which to pursue advanced scholarship.

The Centre sustains and enhances the University’s strength in Early Modern British and Irish historical studies. It enjoys the active support of a core group of postholders working in this field, and of a larger number of researchers within Oxford. It aims to promote internal research collaboration, to pursue fruitful contacts with colleagues elsewhere in Oxford and to reach out to other universities. The already vigorous seminar culture has been afforced with a series of workshops and conferences.

Early Modern postgraduate studies can be pursued and developed through the relevant strands of the MSt / MPhil in Modern British and European History, and through the doctoral programme. All graduate students are encouraged to construct and participate in the planning of seminars, conferences, and related activities.


Statue of Charles I
Graduate courses in this field
Research Aims

The Centre aims to foster an active research environment, both by promoting the individual research interests of its members, and by encouraging collaborative projects. It seeks to support post-doctoral work, both through the existing Oxford pattern of research fellowships and college appointments, and through a willingness to host those making post-doctoral applications for external funding. These would include those in quest of British Academy post-doctorates, but also independent applications that have to be pursued with the support of an existing postholder.

 Members of the Centre can provide research supervision across most aspects of Early Modern Britain. A selection of recent dissertation subjects may serve to indicate this diversity. Doctorates have been completed on Henry Fitzalan, 12th Earl of Arundel; Religion and Reformation in England and Scotland, 1534–61; English Travellers, 1560–1660; Pamphleteering under James I; Religious Justifications for Violence in the Civil War; and Supplying the Cromwellian Armies. There are normally between six and ten starting graduates each year working in the period from approximately 1500–1700. This means that the core graduate seminar is a large and lively affair, regularly attended by about forty students and visitors.

 The research resources of the Centre are focused above all on access to Oxford’s superb library and archival facilities. Archival collections in the Bodleian, such as Rawlinson, Tanner, and Carte, offer many specific research opportunities. College archive collections provide others. The collection of early printed books is a crucial resource, even in these days of on-line access. The Faculty of History provides computing resources. There are also a number of specialist research seminars in areas connected to British and Irish history.

Seminars and Events

This centre has a number of seminars and events that run throughout the year. To see when these will next be running, please check the following pages:

List of site pages