Universiteit Leiden

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Institute for History


History is being taught at Leiden University since 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.

The Leiden University Institute for History is the home of a substantial research staff, including 65 employed and contract PhD candidates. The academic leaders connected to the institute's research programmes are internationally renowned scholars that engage in numerous networks, contribute to important conferences and publish with outstanding academic presses. The institute was ranked #17 in the 2017 QS World University Rankings

Global history

The Leiden University Institute for History has chairs in various fields, like Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern, Contemporary, Maritime, Social, Economic, Dutch, African, American, Latin American, Caribbean and Southeast and East Asian History. Besides, adjacent departments in the Faculty of Humanities have chairs in Turkish, South Asian, Southeast Asian, 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 twenty minutes travel distance, makes conducting research in Leiden all the more attractive.

Management Team & Councils

Management Team

The Management Team is responsible for all matters concerning the institute, and comprises four members: 

  • The Scientific Director is the head of the Institute for History, and as such carries overall responsibility for the institute. The Scientific Director is directly answerable to the Faculty Board. The Scientific Director of the Institute for History is Prof.dr. J.S. Pollmann.
  • The Director of Studies is responsible for the teaching activities of the Institute. The Director of Studies of the Institute for History is Dr. R. Stein.
  • The Director of Research is responsible for the coordination of the PhD programme and research funding.  Dr. P.J.J. Meel is the Director of Research.
  • The Institute Manager is in charge of operational affairs of the Institute, such as finances, personnel and the internal organisation of the institute.  Ms. R.J. Wensma is the Institute Manager of the Institute for History.

Advisory Council

The Advisory Council comprises the following persons, from 1 September 2016 until 1 September 2018:
Mirjam de BruijnJeroen DuindamCristiaan EngbertsAndre GerritsPeter HoppenbrouwersLuuk de LigtHerman PaulMarlou SchroverPatricio SilvaDiederik SmitRens TacomaHenk te Velde.

Institute Council

The Institute Council comprises all staff members of the Institute for History.

PhD Council

The PhD Council comprises all (external) PhD candidates connected to a supervisor of the Institute for History. C.A. (Chris) Engberts MA is chair of the PhD council in the academic year 2016-2017.