People of Leeds #19: The Pioneering Life of Jessie Beatrice Kitson

On the Secret Library this week we hear from Local and Family History’s Josh Flint who in celebration of International Women’s Day writes about the first women to be Mayor of Leeds, Jessie Beatrice Kitson and examine how she is represented in the Local and Family History Collection. This pioneer was part of the famous…

The Other Project: Chapter Three

The Other Project, co-ordinated by Third Year Fine Art student Mia Ferullo, is a collaboration between Leeds Central Library and York St John University’s second year students. The students were divided into four groups, each being given an issue of the Leeds Other Paper. With a combination of Fine Art, Photography and Illustration students, this…

The ‘Vivacious’ Audrey Mann

When looking through our collection of playbills, it’s easy to let them all blur into one. Girls! Strip shows! Dancing! But what was it like to be one of those girls, and were they all doing the same thing? Librarian Zoe Scott Fitzgibbon chatted with Audrey Mann to find out more. Audrey Mann, born in…

Staff Picks – Favourite Women of Leeds

For International Women’s Day 2021 our staff have chosen some of their favourite women with Leeds connections. We hope you enjoy reading about Catherine, Beryl and Sue. Catherine Buckton (1826-1904) was a writer and campaigner who was passionate about women’s education, child welfare, suffrage and social reform. She was in fact the first woman to…

Glimpses of Mary Gawthorpe

As International Women’s Day approaches, we look at some inspirational women of Leeds, as chosen by Local and Family History staff. Here librarian, Helen Skilbeck, reveals her admiration of a local suffragist. A personal favourite of mine is Mary Gawthorpe (1881-1973) who was a teacher, suffragist, suffragette, organiser and public speaker for the WSPU (Women’s…

The Other Project: Chapter Two

The Other Project, co-ordinated by Third Year Fine Art student Mia Ferullo, is a collaboration between Leeds Central Library and York St John University’s second year students. The students were divided into four groups, each being given an issue of the Leeds Other Paper. With a combination of Fine Art, Photography and Illustration students, this…

People of Leeds #16: The Brothers Johnson, Swimmers Extraordinaire

A previous blog post took a look at the Cookridge Street Public Baths where the general manager and swimming instruction was Professor Peter Johnson. Today, librarian Helen Skilbeck takes a closer look at Johnson and his younger brother. This article forms #16 in our People of Leeds series. Peter and his brother John Baptist (J.B.)…

People of Leeds #15: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West

This week, we hear from the Central Library’s Helen Skilbeck, who talks us through a fascinating and very-valuable Playbill. This article is #15 in our People of Leeds series – short biographies of lesser-known contributors to Leeds’ past.  Leeds Libraries collection of playbills can be viewed online but one that has not yet been digitised is…