The Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past (IPUP) is an interdisciplinary research centre at the University of York, established in 2006. The institute works as an outward-facing body to create a sustainable network of partnerships between the academic environment and those working in museums and galleries, other heritage practitioners, and media professionals. It also conducts research into the ways in which the past is presented in the media to a mass audience for the purposes of education and entertainment, and into how audiences more generally comprehend and interact with the past. IPUP organises regular conferences and research seminars, and has developed a range of consultancies in the creative and cultural sectors. It also runs a media internship programme for postgraduate students.
IPUP is based on the University of York's main Heslington campus, at the new Humanities Research Centre in the Berrick Saul Building, alongside the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies. It is jointly hosted by the Departments of Archaeology, History, and History of Art. Its director is Dr. Sarah Rees-Jones, a Senior Lecturer in Medieval History and particular expert on the urban history of York.