About the Institute for History

The Leiden Institute for History is one of the six 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 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. The Institute was ranked 29th in the 2015 QS World University Rankings.


Research programmes Institute for History

The research of the Insitute for History is subdivided into five research programmes:

The academic leaders connected to the Leiden University Institute for History research programmes are internationally renowned scholars, who engage in numerous networks, contribute to important conferences and publish with outstanding academic presses. 

Global history
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 fifteen minutes travel distance, makes conducting research in Leiden all the more attractive.

From research to education
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.

Rapid expansion
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.

Last Modified: 09-12-2015