Guest Post: The People’s Cafe

This week’s post comes courtesy of Russell Croft, who has kindly allowed us to republish a piece from his blog. The article – on the history of Leeds Bridge House – was researched using resources from our Local and Family History department and is an excellent example of how local history archives can work toward the…

Hiding in plain sight: my search for the old cinemas of Leeds

This week our guest writer is Dr Laura Ager, Academic researcher and Creative Engagement Officer at the Hyde Park Picture House, who is writing about the history of old cinemas in Leeds. Before the era of the corporate multiplex cinema began, Leeds used to have many different and unique small cinemas. I have read that at…

The Leeds Savage Club: A Brief History

This week on the Secret Library, we hear from Karen Downham in our Local and Family History department, who looks at the Leeds Savage Club, a group active in the early 1900s, and whose members had a strong influence on the city of Leeds, and beyond. Selecting a book to take to one of our…

My week in the Local and Family History Department

This week we hear from Thomas Wootton, from Leeds Trinity University, who as part of his work experience spent a week in the Local and Family History Department. As part of my degree in History and Politics from Leeds Trinity University, I was required to undertake a work placement and I decided to undertake part…

Cross-dressing in Yorkshire

This week we welcome guest writer Lauren Wells, Post-Graduate Researcher at the University of Leeds, who explores the history and meaning(s) of cross-dressing in Yorkshire… My research examines men who cross-dressed in Yorkshire from the end of the nineteenth century until the eve of the Second World War. When I first conceptualised this project, I…

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…

A new Civic Hall for Leeds

Last week was the 85th anniversary of the opening of one of the most recognisable buildings in Leeds – the Civic Hall. Librarian Helen Skilbeck looks back at the opening day itself where King George V and Queen Mary visited Leeds to officially open the building. The idea of building a new Civic Hall was…

Voices from the Past: Textiles in Leeds and West Yorkshire

This week on the Secret Library, we hear from guest author Emily Owen, who is conducting research into the textile industries of Leeds and West Yorkshire. Stowed away in the University of Leeds Library is Special Collections – home to everything from rare medieval manuscripts to the notebooks of famous poets like Tony Harrison, and…