About & Contact

Welcome to The Secret Library, home to Leeds Libraries heritage blog.  We hope to bring insights into the history and architecture of our 1884 Central Library building, a behind the scenes look at the Library and highlights from our Special Collections, including rare books hiding in the stacks. We will also be sharing highlights from collections in our branch libraries. Many of the articles focus on local history, so expect lots of intriguing stories and snippets from old newspapers, maps, diaries, playbills, photographs and census records.

Most articles are written by Library staff, but we welcome external contributions, particularly as they relate to library stock and collections.  Please get in touch with comments, or requests for anything you wish to know more about using the contact link or tweet questions using #secretlibraryleeds.

Where more images are available posts will link to our Flickr site.

Contact our Local and Family History team on 0113 37 86982 or Localandfamilyhistory@leeds.gov.uk to find out more about any of the articles posted here. 

The text and all images on this site belong to Leeds Libraries or named partners and should not be reproduced without permission. Please contact us on the details above to make a reproduction request

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi, ‘Old Leeds Cold Cures’ is fascinating, not least because it relates to the wife of one of third generation professionals, Percival Leigh. Our project details are here: http://www.victorianprofessions.ox.ac.uk
    I was wondering if you would mind if we reblog your blog post on our own project blog? https://victorianprofessions.wordpress.com/
    Kind regards,
    Dr. Alison Kay

    1. Thanks Alison! Here at the Secret Library, we love your interesting blog and were excited to be featured last week. If any Secret Library readers are wondering, Alison replied again on the ‘Old Leeds Cold Cures’ post: Reblogged this on Victorian Professions Blog and commented:
      Thanks for this guest reblog go to the author Ross Horsley who is the Librarian Manager in the Local and Family History Library and Information Service (Leeds City Council).
      The Library’s excellent blog, ‘The Secret Library’, can be found here: http://secretlibraryleeds.net

      Blanche L. Leigh was the wife of one of our professional grandsons, Percival Leigh (dentist).

      Dr. Alison Kay

  2. Michael Jones says:

    Re .Hunslet Grange Flats research..There is a nice FB group Hunslet Lost Memories where I”m sure many could help with ny questions. https://www.facebook.com/groups/252700481779889/

  3. Janet says:

    Very interesting to see new year old Leeds photos. Thank you to all. Best wishes for 2021

  4. Robert clark says:

    Just to know if you are interested in my information about the site that the Roundheads occupied on the eve of the battle of Selby 1644 .i have found artifacts from there

    1. Hi Robert,
      Thanks for your comment – that sounds really interesting! Do please email us at localandfamilyhistory@leeds.gov.uk if you want to share more information about your finds with us.


      Central Library

  5. eileen h ughes says:

    will you please give my best wishes to AUDREY MANN of Morecambe who was the most talented song and dance act and also a beautiful woman with a good figure when young. from eileen, who lived at The Theatre Girls Club in Greek Street, London. but now lives by Acton Town Station London W3

  6. Olivia says:

    Hello. I’m Olivia from South Korea.
    I tried to contact to your e-mail above(Localandfamilyhistory@leeds.gov.uk) to request of permission for some images on your website, but the e-mail wasn’t sent. (I don’t know why..) I’d like to get your permission for two images, posted on this link(https://secretlibraryleeds.net/2017/05/22/back-to-back-houses-and-their-communities/). For more details, could you let me know another e-mail available or another way to contact you. I’m looking forward to your prompt reply as soon as possible. Please contact me this address: pretalk2023@naver.com
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Olivia,

      Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. We’ve tried emailing you at the address you give, but it has come back to us as ‘undeliverable’. Please try to email us on one of these addresses: images@leeds.gov.uk or LibraryEnquiries@leeds.gov.uk

      Best wishes,
      Leeds Libraries

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