A Visual Feast!

It’s the annual Heritage Open Days festival next week and, to celebrate, we’re bringing out some of the best prints and playbills from our archives. A large selection will be on display in Room 700 (formerly the Arts Space) in Leeds Central Library on Saturday 12 September, 1-4pm. Staff from the Local and Family History department will be on hand to offer background on the items, as well as further information about the many more not featured in the display (but available online and on request). To give you an idea of what’s in store, we’re showcasing a selection of intriguing examples below…

No booking is required to attend, and all are welcome. Details of our address can be found here. For further information, contact localandfamilyhistory@leeds.gov.uk

Arrival of Queen Victoria at the Town Hall, during her visit to Leeds in 1858
Arrival of Queen Victoria at the Town Hall, during her visit to Leeds in 1858
Playbill from the Empire Theatre on Briggate, showing some very famous names
Playbill from the Empire Theatre on Briggate, showing some very famous names
A spectacular sounding Circus performance in Leeds, 1843
A spectacular sounding Circus performance in Leeds, 1843
One of our very oldest playbills, from the Hunslet Lane Theatre
One of our very oldest playbills. From the Hunslet Lane Theatre
A wartime playbill from the Theatre Royal on the Headrow. Note the lower admission price for soldiers in uniform
A wartime playbill from the Theatre Royal on the Headrow. Note the lower admission price for soldiers in uniform
A sample from our extensive collection of prints satirising 19th-century Parliamentary elections in Leeds
A sample from our extensive collection of prints satirising 19th-century Parliamentary elections in Leeds
Some of our most popular prints relate to the circus performer and proprietor Pablo Fanque. Most famous for his mention in The Beatles song
Some of our most popular prints relate to the circus performer and proprietor Pablo Fanque. Most famous for his mention in The Beatles song “Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite”, Fanque performed many times in Leeds during the 19th-century. The image here shows just part of a print advertising Fanque’s circus. To see the rest….come along to the open day!
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