We Smile: Photographs of Modernity

This week Librarian Antony Ramm offers a sequel to an article first published in 2017. This is the second part of a loose trilogy on some aspects of photography in our local history collections… Readers of this blog who are also readers of the Public Domain Review website (if you’re not, do think about subscribing;…

Leeds & the Craft Beer Revolution

As part of our ongoing series of longer articles exploring stops on our Edible Leeds heritage Trail, Librarian Antony Ramm takes a look this week at the 20-year history of craft beer in Leeds… Leeds, of course, has a long and venerable history when it comes to brewing, stretching back to at least the brewery…

Do your family members roll their eyes?

This week we hear from Library & Digital Assistant Becky Bavill about a new club for all you frustrated local historians out there… Do your family members roll their eyes and leave the room when you say things like ‘Did you know Leeds wasn’t a city until 1893?’ Do friends cross the street as you…

A Brief History of Leeds #5: The Industrial Revolution

The fifth part of a series 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. Part four of this series finished with a suggestion that the writings of 18th-century Leeds antiquaries such as Thomas Wilson and…

The Leeds Arts Club

This week we hear from Library and Digital Assistant Ruairí Lewis who talks us through the fascinating history of the Leeds Arts Club through library stock and collections… Among our local history collections are a few volumes on the history of the Leeds Arts Club, and its fascinating founder, Alfred Orage. Very little has been…

Rare Book Round Up – Aquatic

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 we’re going aquatic. Starting with the two youngest, ‘Tortoises,…

Two Extraordinary Banquets

This week on the Secret Library, Librarian Antony Ramm briefly explores the stories behind two quite amazing political banquets in 19th-century Leeds. These both form entries on our Edible Leeds heritage trail, designed for Heritage Open Day Week 2021. In this short tale of two extraordinary political banquets, we start with the most well-known: the…

A Brief History of Leeds #4: The 18th-century

Part four of a series 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. We left our brief look at the 17th-century with a reference to Ralph Thoresby’s place in an impressive national and international network…