A Menagerie of Maps

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library While many people are probably already aware that the Central Library holds a great many maps relating to Leeds and Yorkshire (those who aren’t are advised to view this Research Guide for more details), a lesser-known part of our Map Collection relates to maps of England…

John Ogilby: Road Maps & Measuring Wheels

by Karen Downham, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library Among the many maps in Leeds Libraries’ collection is John Ogilby’s Britannia Depicta, published in 1675, a landmark in the mapping of England and Wales, and the first national road atlas of any country in Western Europe. It was a publication that would bring about…

The Monopoly Man in Leeds: Waddington Plc

University of Huddersfield history student and library volunteer Haaris Mahmood continues his series of articles for The Secret Library, by looking back over the achievements of the Waddington company in the first-half of the 20th-century… In recent years the evolution of gaming has proved to be revolutionary with many new platforms being established such as video games and virtual…

A Rather Useful Map from 1967

Librarian Antony Ramm takes a brief look at a very useful map of Leeds city centre in the 1960s… We recently welcomed University student Jessica Heath to the Central Library, to lead an exploration of the 1970 Leeds Clothing Strike. As part of that workshop, various books and other resources from our Local and Family…

Thomas Gent’s 1733 Wood Engraving of Leeds

Librarian Antony Ramm takes a brief look at a lesser-known view of Leeds in the 18th-century… Eighteenth-century Leeds suffers slightly, perhaps, in the popular mind-set, sandwiched between a  19th-century more obviously traceable in its effects on the built environment of the city, and a seventeenth-century with more viscerally thrilling episodes and dominant personalities. While much good…

Leeds International Exhibition, 1890

Librarian Antony Ramm takes a brief look at the Leeds International Exhibition of 1890, a spectacular showcase with a sad ending… International exhibitions made a frequent appearance in Europe and the United States during the second half of the 19th-century, providing “nations with opportunities to demonstrate their artistic, technical and scientific ingenuity.” Among the most…

Boyne’s GRANGERISED HISTORY OF LEEDS

The following description of Boyne’s History of Leeds is taken from a typescript note pasted to a blank page in Volume 1, and which can be found before the History proper begins. The author is unknown, but is likely to have been a previous Librarian at the Central Library. ***** William Boyne (1814/15 – 1893), Leeds antiquarian,…

Tales from Circus 250: A Topography of the Circus in Leeds, Part I

Although our Central Library exhibition looking at the Circus scene in Leeds has now been taken down (and replaced with an equally interesting exhibition highlighting themes from the BBC’s Civilisations series), the wider celebration of the modern Circus in the UK will continue all year. So, to mark the 250th-anniversary of Philip Astley’s leap into…