Adam & Eve in the Garden of Leeds

Local historian, Bill McKinnon, remembers a pair of local celebrities who resided in the Hyde Park area for forty years… The garden that has formed the setting for the Victoria Memorial on Woodhouse Moor since 1937 used to be known as the the Adam and Eve Garden. It was named after statues of a young…

An LGBT-themed Lucky Dip

By Ross Horsley, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library | The city’s Pride weekend may still be a week away but events are well underway in Leeds Libraries. Yesterday, Stonewall’s Josh Willacy hosted a discussion on ‘The History of Pride and Why It’s Important’, and still to come at Central Library are a special…

Wo Wo Lol Lol: The Eccentric John Broughton

By Ross Horsley, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library It’s often via interactions with customers that we come to appreciate the stories behind some of the treasures in our collections. One we’ve recently discovered a little more about – thanks to the correspondence of the author’s great-great-granddaughter – is the 1828 book, Poems; Moral, Sentimental and…

Dances, Death Rites and Dedications: The Art of Dying

by Adam Barham, Art Library, Leeds Central Library Throughout history, death has inspired artists to create stirring and thought-provoking work. As death affects us all and invokes a whole range of emotions, there are myriad examples of death-inspired art. These include explorations of the nature of death, depictions of deaths and funerals, as well as…

What the Moon Saw

by Ross Horsley, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library We’ve been thinking a fair bit about chimney sweeps recently at Central Library… Not because the chimneys here need attention (it’s a long time since any of our various original fireplaces held an open fire) but because our student-curated Sweepiana exhibition is currently occupying Room 700 until…

Once Upon a Time in Leeds Central Library

by Rhian Isaac, Collections Manager, Leeds Central Library “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”  – Neil Gaiman During Library Fest in February we delivered an array of fairy tale related events from children’s theatre performances to film…

A Giant, Grade II* Listed Work of Art

By Ross Horsley, Local and Family History, and Adam Barham, Art Library, Leeds Central Library For this year’s Library Fest, we decided to create a tour of the beautiful Leeds Central Library that reimagined the building as a huge work of art. Looking to its many and varied architectural features for inspiration, we drew on the works of…

The Ghost Stories of Lord Halifax

by Ross Horsley, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library Last Monday, I accepted an invitation from Bob and Jacki Lawrence of the East Leeds History and Archaeology Society to speak at their monthly meeting, and decided to take along one of my favourite items from our Local History collection as my inspiration. Lord Halifax’s…