The Ancient Art of Bookbinding

This week we hear from Library Officer, Philip Wilde, who highlights some amazing examples of bookbinding in the Central Library collections… There is currently a small display outside the Information and Research department on the second floor of the Leeds Central Library that shows just a small selection of some of the fascinating bindings that…

The THOMAS WILSON Collection

by Antony Ramm and Philip Wilde, Local and Family History, Central Library Little is known for certain of the life of Thomas Wilson (c.1702-1761), Leeds Schoolmaster and Antiquarian. Thought to have been born around 1702 in Wragby, near Pontefract, Wilson’s first recorded appearance in the Leeds area was his marriage to Martha Ingham in 1727…

The WILLIE RILEY Collection

by Philip Wilde, Information and Research, Central Library Willie Riley, in his mid-forties, wrote Windyridge as an amusement, a distraction, for his wife, Clara, and two female friends, Ethel and Florence Bolton. It would be the first of some 39 books he was to write, the last being published a few months before he died…

The E.R. EDDISON Collection

by Philip Wilde, Information and Research, Central Library Born in Adel, Leeds, Eric Rucker Eddison (1882-1945) became a leading civil servant and a writer of fantasy novels, most notably The Worm Ouroboros and The Zimiamvian Trilogy. A lifelong friend of another local author, Arthur Ransome, Eddison was described by J. R. R. Tolkien as “the…

The GRIMSHAW Collection

by Philip Wilde, Information and Research, Central Library Arthur Edmund Grimshaw was a Leeds born artist and musician. He was the son of the great Leeds artist John Atkinson Grimshaw. Although Arthur also painted he was better known as a composer. The Central Library holds an original manuscript performance set of his ‘two old English melodies’, together…

INCUNABULA (pre-1501 books)

by Philip Wilde, Information and Research, Central Library Incunabula is the term given to any book that was printed before 31st December in the year 1500. Leeds Central Library holds thirteen books of this category, according to the British Library Incunabula Short-Title Catalogue. All our Incunabula are in Latin and were printed in European cities. These were…

The Annotated Ducatus Leodiensis (c.1745)

by Philip Wilde, Information and Research, Central Library Known as the “first written history of Leeds”, Ralph Thoresby’s Ducatus Leodiensis was first published in 1715. Leeds Central Library is fortunate to own five copies – and one of our copies is regarded as being very special indeed. This particular copy was once owned by Thomas Wilson, antiquarian (like…

The SAXTON ATLAS (1579)

by Philip Wilde, Information and Research, Central Library An Atlas of the Counties of England and Wales was published in 1579 and is commonly held to be the first such work of comprehensive mapping; as such, Christopher Saxton is often referred to as the ‘father of English cartography’. Little is known about his personal life, although he…