Letters From the Past

  by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library While researching upcoming events on the life and career of the 18th-century Leeds Schoolmaster and Antiquarian, Thomas Wilson, we were directed by the ‘manuscripts’ section of the card catalogue in our Local and Family History department toward a very-intriguing collection of letters: The particular interest…

A Snapshot of Leeds on June 3, 1917

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library Tomorrow will mark a century since a nationally significant, but oddly little-known, event in the history of Leeds: the 1917 Peace Convention at the Coliseum. This “saw 3,500 people from across Britain gather at the Leeds Coliseum (now the O2 Academy) in solidarity with the February…

New Addition to our Collections: Samuel Marsden

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library The broad outline of Samuel Marsden‘s life and works are well-known: born Farsley, 1764, Samuel emigrated to the Australian colonies in 1793 after accepting an appointment as assistant to the Chaplain of New South Wales. There he took up residence at Parramatta, where he had charge…

Who Led Leeds? Case Study #1: Maud Dightam

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library Many readers will be familiar with the name and the achievements of Alice Bacon, the first woman elected as an MP in Leeds. And some of our readers will doubtless be in attendance at this week’s talk by Rachel Reeves MP, author of a new biography…

Who Led Leeds? Public Service between the Wars

University of Leeds PhD student Pushpa Kumbhat is working on a new project with the support of Leeds Central Library’s Local and Family History department. She writes… We are creating a collection of short biographies commemorating the lives of public servants – local leaders of Leeds who served on the Council between the First and…

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…

It’s Oliver Twist… with a Twist

by Rhian Isaac, Collections Manager, Leeds Central Library Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be welcoming two new bloggers to the Secret Library. Natascha and Jonathan are students from the University of Leeds, who joined us on a Faculty of Arts Research Placement a few months ago to experience working with our collections and bringing them to a wider…