William Darby in Norwich and Leeds: Life and Death

This week on the Secret Library we welcome Orla Kennelly from the Norfolk Heritage Centre. Orla kindly agreed to write a section for our blog focusing on the circus manager and performer, William Darby – aka Pablo Fanque. Darby was born in Norwich, but is buried in Leeds; Orla’s section looks at Darby’s early years, while our part concentrates…

Exhibition: The Age of Shakespeare

Last week’s main article highlighted some of the amazing Shakespeare-related finds in our Art Library collections. Readers may also be interested to hear about a new exhibition currently on display in the Central Library (outside Room700, 1st Floor). Entitled “The Age of Shakespeare”, this lovingly-curated exhibition aims to create a sense of the world that Shakespeare inhabited…

Shakespeare and the Art world

by Adam Barham, Central Library Many artists have felt compelled to depict the plays of Shakespeare. Some are attracted to Shakespeare’s universal themes and complex characters, which inspire them to produce stirring representations of the plays’ inner meanings. Others appreciate his combination of exotic locations and sparse scene descriptions, which leave them free to create…

Meeting the Ghosts of the Brontë Family

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library In his book Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? (2010), James Shapiro makes the point that “every literature professor is in the business of speaking to the dead” and that, by extension, “communicating with the dead is what we all do…[e]very time we pick up a volume of Milton…

A Woman’s Work is Never Done…

by Sally Hughes – Assistant Librarian Manager, Local and Family History A talk on the history of the voice and influence of women could go on for hours, but I promise you, mine doesn’t! (Image copyright of Leeds Library and Information Service,  www.leodis.net) The Local and Family History Department were asked by colleagues at Leeds Museums service…

A.R. Turner’s Ironmongery Catalogue: The Communication of History

Part II in a loose trilogy of posts exploring (some) meanings behind the study of local history. Part I is here and Part III is here by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library “How much history can be communicated by pressure on a guitar string?” That’s the question asked by Robert Palmer in his…

On Our Blog Post Dated 1st April, 2016

Fans of H.P. Lovecraft’s work – in particular, his Necronomicon – will have no doubt spotted our April Fool’s joke last Friday, aptly described by a colleague as a “goof and a spoof“. For everyone else, it’s time for us to come clean: we don’t really hold a book with the contents as described in that blog…

On a Mysterious and Unusual Book

As recently as our last post, we described the excitement we feel when an interesting item from our collections is brought to our attention by a reader or customer. Another such case has emerged this week: a visitor from Massachusetts asked to see a series of books held in our Special Collections that touched on the…