James Titterton

As a medievalist, Leeds is one of the top places in the country to study, and one of the reasons is the extremely well-stocked libraries. There aren’t many libraries in the country as well-supplied for teaching and research in my specialism.  

I use the Brotherton Library most because it’s full of primary sources – chronicles and collections of acts and charters. The scientists have their laboratories, historians have the library – the library is where we do the actual research. 

I love those brilliant moments where you feel like you're adding something new or rediscovering something that’s been lost. You feel that connection across history and you realise that somebody wrote this. I once read a chronicle that said "these deeds will be remembered forever more" and I suddenly thought "it worked – I’m reading this 900 years later!" It was a moment of connection.

The School of History is organised in research clusters, so you can chat about your research with colleagues working in other areas. I'm working alongside people who are studying the medieval period with a focus on disability, animals, different regions of the world. It broadens your mind and your research. 

My Institute hosts the International Medieval Congress each year. The last one was the largest in the world. If you want to know more about something, you can go along and talk to the expert about it. It's known as a major place to come and give papers and talks, and it's a great way to network. My supervisor at Leeds is also a curator emeritus at the Royal Armouries and a professor at the Louvre in Paris.  

I've been to conferences and shared my research with academics from all over the world. It’s expanded my reach and network in ways that I couldn't have done if the University didn’t have these facilities.