About the Department of History and Welsh History
History has been taught at Aberystwyth since the founding of the College in 1872. The Department is one of the largest in the University, and the research interests of its staff extend across the full chronological and geographical range from the Roman period to contemporary political issues, and from Wales and Britain to America, France, and Russia. Interests in comparative history, in 'history from below', and in state building in both the British Isles and France were pioneered in Aberystwyth by historians such as Richard Cobb, R.R. Davies, Gwynne Lewis, R.F. Treharne and Gwyn Alf Williams. A new generation of historians has added to the department’s research interests such fields as media history, political culture, Jews in the English-speaking world, peasants in the medieval world, sport, women's and gender history, historiography and the application of computer techniques to the study of the past.
Meanwhile, Aberystwyth is proud to maintain its long standing position as the leading centre of teaching and research in Welsh history from the medieval period to the present day. The first lecturer in Welsh history was appointed in 1910 and since its creation in 1931 the Sir John Williams Professorship of Welsh History has been held by such distinguished historians as E.A. Lewis, David Williams, W. Ogwen Williams, Ieuan Gwynedd Jones, J. Beverley Smith and Aled G. Jones.
The National Library of Wales, based at Aberystwyth since its inception in 1909, is home to the largest existing collection of material relating to the history of Wales, from medieval court rolls to the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales. The extensive holdings in the National Library and elsewhere in Aberystwyth present unparalleled opportunities for students of Welsh history to pursue their research interests.
The Department has been a leading centre of historical research and teaching for over a hundred years. It enjoys a long-established reputation as a place in which to undertake postgraduate study, offers excellent supervision by a distinguished team of historians, and has research facilities unparalleled by most universities in the UK. We are keen to recruit enterprising and imaginative graduate students from all kinds of background, and are always ready to give research proposals or enquiries careful consideration.