Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings by the Allied invasion as part of World War II Operation Overload. Approximately 156,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches suffering casualties in excess of 12,000 personnel.
The Leeds Central Library Information & Research department holds a large number of items detailing the invasion, and the days and months that followed. Included are biographies, memoirs and WWII histories with a selection currently on display within the department. All of these items are part of our loanable stock and can be borrowed by library members. Normandy is famous as the largest seaborne invasion in history, contributing to an Allied victory a year later.
The consequences of war were felt across the UK including the Leeds Library service. An extract from the City of Leeds Public Libraries Reference Library Narrative Report, 1940-1941 reported the effects of an order forbidding specific local collections and a 1000 volumes including guide books and maps from being loaned to the public. This and “people finding a lack of opportunity for serious study caused by the increasing war demand upon spare-time” had resulted in a decrease of people using the Reference Library. However on a more positive note it was found that “As a consequence reading is recreational and this borne out by the increased demands made upon the city’s lending libraries”.
Todays Information & Research Library has over 80,000 items of loanable stock stored in the stacks. While the public cannot browse these they are all included in the library catalogue and can be retrieved by staff at your request.
The Information & Research Library is located on the second floor of Leeds Central Library.