A Partial History of Leeds Central Library

This last Wednesday, to mark National Libraries Week, four of our Local and Family History team, plus one intrepid volunteer, delivered a talk offering a brief history of Leeds Central Library, primarily derived from material found in several volumes of news-cuttings covering public libraries in Leeds. So, this week on the Secret Library we offer…

How Many Pages in this Book? Take a Guess!

Today on Secret Library Leeds, to mark National Libraries Week and the publication of our new seasonal brochure, we are proud to announce our very first competition! The competition is simple: guess the number of pages in what we believe is our longest single-volume book – a copy of the 1912 Kelly’s Directory of the…

A Library at War: Leeds Central Library during WW2

Ahead of next week’s Lunchtime Talk, which will see our team of Librarians from the Local and Family History department offering a brief history of Leeds Central Library, we hear from regular guest author Mike Harwood, who tells the story of this building during the tumult of World War 2… ‘Tuesday, 31 October 1939: “Felt energetic…

The Silent Traveller in the Yorkshire Dales

This week we hear from Library Officer, Will Poulter, on a surprising perspective of the Yorkshire Dales… One of the joys of working in the library is that sometimes I come across books that strike me, that I may never have known exist. This happened recently when I came across a modest journal by a Chinese…

The History of Book Illustration

This week Central Collections Manager, Rhian Isaac discusses The History of Book Illustration through our collections here in Central Library. Children’s illustrator, Nick Sharratt, is bringing his exhibition Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants to Central Library this week and we thought it would be a great opportunity to display some of the amazing examples of book illustration we…

The Golden Age of Childhood

Visitors to the Central Library will have seen a small display dedicated to the ‘golden age of childhood’ over the last few weeks – examples from our collections that highlight some classic children’s books and the evocative illustrations that accompanied them. As that display – which could be found outside our Information and Research department…

Yorkshire – owt or nowt?

Librarians Antony Ramm and Sally Hughes report on a Yorkshire-themed collections day school for arts students… This week the Central Library welcomed two groups of design students from the Leeds Arts University to explore our collections on the theme of Yorkshire. The aim was to inspire these young creatives to develop work that explored the subject…

New Research Guide: Yorkshire Battles

This week we hear from Josh Flint, from the Local and Family History department of the Central Library, who introduces his recent research into books exploring the rich history of battles and other conflicts in Yorkshire… Yorkshire has been the battleground for some of the bloodiest, treacherous and most vicious battles ever fought in Britain. This…