Discovering Leeds

We thought it was about time to shout a bit louder about the sister site to Secret Library Leeds – Discovering Leeds. Originally created as part of the Leodis project, the site was funded by the New Opportunities Fund and launched back in 2003. Since then it has had various updates and now sits as a permanent resource alongside Secret Library Leeds.

Construction of Quarry Hill Flats (c) Leeds Libraries,

On Discovering Leeds you can find out all about the City of Leeds. Discover how Briggate developed, see the waterfront as it used to be or find out the history of the Town Hall. Each topic brings together information, photographs and maps to show how Leeds has changed over the years.

Interior of Marshalls Mills, from A Day at a Leeds Flax Mill in The Penny Magazine, December 1843.

Nine topics are covered in-depth – Briggate, Classical Music Leeds, Industrial Leeds, Leeds Town Hall, Poverty and Riches, The Headrow, the Markets, Leeds Theatres and the Waterfront. All were researched by librarians in Leeds Central Library, except for the pages on Classical Music Leeds. These were entirely written and researched by Leeds based writer and music reviewer Geoffrey Mogridge and use many of his own images to illustrate the various pages.

Grand Theatre playbills, centenary season, 1975

Each topic will take you a journey from the origins of the area, to the development through the centuries, to the present day and includes a handy bibliography for further research. Unseen prints, plans, maps and posters have been used as well as images from Leodis – Leeds Libraries’ photographic archive. Copyright of images has been noted where known and the vast majority of images come from Leeds Libraries’ own library stock.

Working drawing of the Town Hall tower (c) West Yorkshire Archive Service

We hope you enjoy discovering more about our wonderful city using Discovering Leeds

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