Rare Books Round Up – Big Garden Birdwatch Edition

Each week our Collections Manager Rhian, brings you our ‘Rare Book of the Week’ on our social media accounts, too good to be lost in the daily deluge of tweets and Instagrams we wanted to bring you a round-up of some of our favourites. This week it’s the turn of Birds. This weekend marks the…

A Brief History of Coffee in Leeds

Two coffee venues feature as entries on the Edible Leeds heritage trail, at numbers 4 and 20. Librarian Antony Ramm offers a very brief overview of those locations, bringing the story up to date with a more modern addition… Thomas Green’s Coffee House We at the Secret Library don’t know exactly when the first coffee…

The Mechanics’ Institute: Part I – Cultivating Minds

We hear from regular guest author Tony Scaife on the Secret Library this week. This is the first of a series on the Leeds Mechanics Institute, sourced from books and other resources available in the Local Studies & Research department at the Central Library… When I first moved to Leeds, I was struck by how…

A Brief History of Leeds #3: The 17th-century

The third in a series of articles exploring the history of Leeds, using books and other stock resources held in the Leeds Libraries collections. For all the entries in this series, see our dedicated page. In our previous entry in this series, we briefly touched on the emergence of Leeds as a textile market centre…

Heritage Advent Calendar: Dec 24

Our final Advent Calendar entry comes courtesy of Librarian, Antony Ramm and a notable match played at Elland Road. While Christmas Day football has a long and venerable history in England, there hasn’t been a top-flight match played on that day of seasonal festivities since Blackpool beat Blackburn Rovers 4-2 in 1965. Those days are…

The Yule Log

Day 23 of the Heritage Advent Calendar and it’s time for our final visit to Robert Chambers ‘The Book of Day: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in Connection with the Calendar, Including Anecdote, Biography, & History, Curiosities of Literature and Oddities of Human Life and Character.’ Vol. 2 (1864) For the last time, in Robert Chambers’…

Read All About It – Christmas Time in Leeds

For the 22nd window of our heritage advent calendar we take a brief look at past Christmas Eve editions of the Yorkshire Evening Post (YEP) to see how they ushered in the festivities over the last century… We start with the Yorkshire Evening Post front page from December 24 1996 – Christmas Eve, twenty five-years…

Botanicals of the Winter Solstice

It’s day 21 of our Heritage Advent calendar and also the Winter Solstice, to celebrate we’re delving deep into a very beautiful item from our Special Collections. Some of our favourite winter plants can be found in the beautifully illustrated encyclopaedia of trees Sylvan Musings, or, The Spirit of the Woods (1849)by Leeds botanist and…