Anniversary Year Starts with Exhibition

IMS Newsletter

On Monday, 13 November 2017, the IMS was delighted to welcome the Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands, the celebrate the launch of our 50th anniversary exhibition.

Charting 50 years of Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds, including the Institute for Medieval Studies (IMS), International Medieval Bibliography (IMB) and International Medieval Congress (IMC), the exhibition reflected on our history and looked towards further future success. Featuring artefacts from the original IMB conference and a festschrift for Professor John Le Patrourel, as well as footage the Mystery Cycle performance from 1975, the exhibition included the material legacy of Medieval Studies at Leeds.

IMS Newsletter

Photograph Above Title: Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands, and Professor Emilia Jamroziak, Director of the IMS, speak at the exhibition. 

Photograph Above:  IMS Anniversary Interns, Lucy Guest (left) and Sunny Harrison (right). 

Attended by over 60 guests, including staff, students and alumni, Monday’s event saw old and new friends of the IMS come to together as a community. Many attendees chose to stay late into the evening, discussing their memories of Leeds and the content of the exhibition.

Professor Emilia Jamroziak, Director of the Institute for Medieval Studies, said, “We are delighted to celebrate our community of medievalists, past and present, here at Leeds. This exhibition is the first in a series of activities this year to reflect on the past 50 years and look forward to the future. We hope the exhibition will show the interdisciplinary nature of Medieval Studies at Leeds and its contribution to University life, which is at the heart of our work.”

IMS newsletter

Photograph Above: We were pleased to welcome members of the medieval studies community, including staff, students, and alumni. 

In his speech, Dr Alan V. Murray, Editorial Director of the IMB, discussed the history of the Bibliography from its beginnings in Professor Peter Sawyer’s year at the University of Minnesota to its digitalisation in the early 21st century. He said, “Where the first annual volumes contained some three thousand records each, the latest printed volumes and the online updates contain over 16,000 records every year. And a couple of years ago the total number of records in IMB-Online passed the half million mark. So I think that over 500,000 records, fully indexed with a wide range of search functions, is a fine achievement for 50 years’ work, and I hope, a good basis for the future of Medieval Studies in Leeds and the wider world.”

IMS Event

Photograph Above: Dr. Alan V. Murray, Editorial Director of the International Medieval Bibliography, speaks about the IMB's past, present, and future. 

Believed to be the oldest interdisciplinary centre in the University, the Institute for Medieval Studies has been home to an internationally leading community of medievalists since 1967. Professor John Le Patourel, Professor of Medieval History, led a group of pioneers to form a centre of graduate studies; since then, the IMS has flourished, with over 70 staff, students and associates from around the world.

The leading bibliography on the Middle Ages, the International Medieval Bibliography was founded at Leeds in 1967 – with over 500,000 articles, periodicals and other content now available in digital and print formats. 

IMS Event

Photograph Above: Attendees were fascinated by the objects on display from the IMB's history. 

The International Medieval Congress – now a key date in academic calendars across the world – began in 1994, and celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Every year, over 2300 medievalists join us here in Leeds to discuss, debate and disseminate the latest research. 

Over the next year, we will be organising a series of events to commemorate this milestone:

  • The Anniversary Public Lecture Series, this year focusing on former Leeds staff and students discussing their current research. Open to all.
  • The Future of Medieval Studies, a two day conference to be held on 31 May to 1 June 2018, focusing on diversity in the academic field. The conference will discuss diversity in the Middle Ages, the diversity of scholarship and the diversity of academics in the field. A call for papers will be forthcoming.
  • A workshop on promoting diversity through curricula, reading lists, research, and recruitment.
  • Events as part of Be Curious 2018.

As part of our celebration, we are looking for memories and stories from our community to feature online and in future IMS publications. Do you have a memory or story of Leeds you would like to share? Please contact the IMS Anniversary Intern at: