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…

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…

In Memory of David Strachan, a Yorkshire Scot

Guest blogger Val Hewson, from the Reading Sheffield project, tells the story of David Strachan, a Leeds librarian who died in the First World War. Val came across him by chance, in a 1923 article in the Library Association Record about plans for a memorial to librarians lost in the war. One hundred years ago…

Chicks, cigars and wine-drinking toddlers: A Victorian Christmas

by Vickie Bennett, Art Library, Leeds Central Library In the Art Library we currently have one of our favourite handmade items on display to coincide with our charity Christmas card shop – the ‘Victorian Scrapbook’ of scraps and greetings cards. A donation to the library in the 1990’s, and a visual feast for any fan…

Stories, Songs and Proclamations

By Karen Downham, Local & Family History Library This week in the blog we will be looking at Broadsides, and exploring some of those in the Local & Family History Collection. A broadside, in its simplest definition, is a sheet of paper printed only on one side. They were often posters announcing events, proclamations, and advertisements,…

John Ogilby: Road Maps & Measuring Wheels

by Karen Downham, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library Among the many maps in Leeds Libraries’ collection is John Ogilby’s Britannia Depicta, published in 1675, a landmark in the mapping of England and Wales, and the first national road atlas of any country in Western Europe. It was a publication that would bring about…