I was born in Enfield, England, in 1952 but emigrated to Canada as a youth. My early career included a couple of years as an archaeological laboratory technician. My interest in medieval urban history began during my undergraduate days at Carleton University, thanks to Dr. Joan Greatrex. I chose to pursue it at Leicester University, in order to study under Professor Geoffrey Martin, and completed my Master of Philosophy thesis there.
Returning to Canada after completing my degree, I found employment as a researcher at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, where I developed an interest in museology (for anyone interested, here are references to some of my publications in various fields, in Google Books and Google Scholar; full text of a couple of museological articles can be found here and here). I obtained a second Masters degree, in Library and Information Science (University of Western Ontario) and became involved in an international investigation of the Frobisher expeditions. I set up the Museum's Web site in 1994 and was its manager until ill health forced my retirement in 2008.
My involvement with the Web in its early days made me aware that medieval urban history is one of the fields for which there is a lack of information online. I therefore decided, in 1998, to create the Web site you are now visiting, in hopes of encouraging others who have studied the history of medieval towns to share some of their knowledge through this medium. I later acted as the Urban Studies editor for ORB, until that initiative became inoperative, as well as editor of the Canadian History section of the World Wide Web Virtual Library.
I dedicate this site to those giants upon whose shoulders I stand, some of whom I have been privileged to know personally. My journey through the urban terrain of medieval England is one I know I cannot complete; for the higher I climb the mountain of knowledge, the better able I am, looking back below, to appreciate the vastness of the landscape of my ignorance.
If you know of any online information on the subject of English medieval
towns to which I do not have a link, I would be grateful to learn of it.
|Created: July 15, 1998. Last update: December 28, 2012||© Stephen Alsford, 1998-2012|