Research Projects

All members of the School of History at St Andrews are actively engaged in research.  Information on individual research interests can be found on the individual web pages and accessed here

The School of History also provides a home for a number of major externally-funded research projects.  These projects often involve several members of staff and employ research assistants; some of our PhD students will also be specifically attached to individual projects.


Current Projects


The Universal Short Title Catalogue (USTC) is a project aimed at bringing together information on all books published in Europe between the invention of printing and the end of the sixteenth century. The project will create a searchable interface, bringing together data from established national bibliographical projects and new projects undertaken by the project team based in St Andrews, with partners in University College, Dublin. This new work builds upon the principles established by the St Andrews French Vernacular Book project, completed and published in 2007.The USTC is funded via a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.


Heirs to the Throne in the Constitutional Monarchies of Nineteenth-Century Europe (1815-1914). This research project will, for the first time, focus systematically and comparatively on the roles played and contributions made by those waiting to come into the glittering inheritance of a European crown. The biological realities of hereditary rule made heirs to the throne a crucial part of monarchical systems. By analysing the heirs to the continent's many thrones, the project will offer a new perspective on the political culture of the states and societies of 19th-century Europe.

German History

German History St Andrews offers a remarkable concentration of historians working on various aspects of the history of Germany and German-speaking Europe from the late-15th to the 20th century. Our particular strengths lie in the Reformation, the Holy Roman Empire as well as the 19th and 20th century. German History at St Andrews is closely linked to a research initiative focusing on translational history and we keen to locate German history in a wider European context. The group hosts conferences, workshops and offers a range of Honours and Master's level modules

Mediaeval St Andrews began as a team-taught honours module offered in the School of History and has evolved into a cross-faculty collaborative project. Bringing together a range of projects across the University, the principal purpose is to collect, research, teach and share knowledge about St Andrews up to the Reformation.



'Power and Institutions in Medieval Islam and Christendom (PIMIC) is collaborative European project examining the differing patterns of institutional development in medieval Islam, Byzantium, and Western Christendom.  The work is carried out by established academics, post-doctoral fellows, and PhD students funded by the project.  The postgraduate students also receive an extensive training in skills and diffusion, the latter facilitated by the presence of Private sector partners in the collaboration.  Further details can be found on the project website.


Publishing the Philosophical Transactions. The Royal Society is the publisher of the oldest surviving scientific journal in the world: the Philosophical Transactions. The journal will celebrate its 350th anniversary in 2015. This project will use the Royal Society’s publishing division to investigate the challenges and opportunities of scholarly publishing over the past 350 years.


Scotland and the Flemish People. The overall aim of the Project is to provide an accessible overview of the impact of the Flemish people on Scotland and the historical interactions between Scotland and Flanders (the Low Countries or modern-day Belgium). Combining genealogical and historical research, the project will reassess the settlement of Flemings in Scotland – their distribution and local impact – as well as reviewing the role of the Flemish in the broad sweep of Scottish history.


Scotland and the Wider World
This innovative project seeks to establish the full extent of Scotland’s links with the ‘Wider World’ particularly in the Early Modern Period


Scotland, Scandinavia & Northern Europe 1580-1707
The SSNE database comprises of information relating to c.5000 individuals from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales who migrated to or worked in Denmark-Norway and Sweden-Finland between 1580 and 1707. They represent the military, naval, diplomatic, intellectual and social elite from the British Isles who operated in northern Europe.


Victorian Science Spectacular. This project brings together three academics with established track records of research into Victorian and Edwardian popular science. Scientific shows were crucial to the process of selling the future to Victorian public. They were highly skilled and often technologically sophisticated affairs that required careful management and meticulous choreography of performers’ bodies and scientific apparatus. The project aims to recreate such a show, and to perform it publicly.

Completed projects

Islam Anatolia: The Islamisation of Anatolia, c. 1100-1500. This five year research project (2012-16) studies the transformation of Anatolia from a Christian to a predominantly Muslim society over the period c. 1100 to 1500AD. Whereas previous research has concentrated almost exclusively on conversion, this study also emphasises the importance of acculturation to Islam, and thus seeks to understand the processes through which Islamic culture took root among the recently converted Turkish as well as Christian populations. Very little is known of the spread of Islam in the region, and the nature both of the religion and culture of Muslim Anatolia is little understood, even though these transformations gave birth to the Ottoman Empire, which played a vital role in shaping European history, and ultimately Turkey itself.

Mapping Medieval Baghdad analyzed literary and photographic evidence in order to produce a new series of maps of medieval Baghdad showing the evolution of the city from its foundation (ca.762CE) to the time of the Seljuk conquest in 1055 CE.

Parliament Rolls of Medieval England, which concluded in 2004, was a seven-year project which led to the publication in hard copy and on CD-Rom of the entire series of Medieval English parliamentary rolls, originally hand-written on strips of parchment. 

The Protestant Latin Bible Project enhanced our understanding of the use of Latin in the sixteenth century through an examination of the movement’s most important text for Protestants produced new translations of the Bible not just into the vernacular, but also into Latin.

Religion and Public Life in Late Medieval Italy investigated relations between secular and religious communities in late medieval Italy using the phenomenon of secular office-holding by monks and friars nominally dedicated to a life of detachment from the secular world.


The Scottish Parliament Project which concluded in 2007 created a new digital edition of the Acts of the Scottish Parliament between its earliest known proceedings in 1235 and the Union of 1707.


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