Traces of Tolkien in Leeds

Please note that Alaric Hall’s talk on J. R. R. Tolkien and the University of Leeds has now been cancelled, “because the University and College Union is on strike this week due to proposed changes in the employment conditions of University of Leeds staff.” You can find details of other forthcoming talks at Leeds Central…

On Some Pre-1841 Sources of Leeds People

Local History Librarian, Antony Ramm, takes a brief look at some useful sources for genealogy in Leeds prior to the publication of the 1841 census.  It is surely no exaggeration to say that the vast majority of people doing family history are well-aware of the Census and everything that can be discovered about their ancestors…

Town Hall Terror

Local History Librarian, Helen Skilbeck, recounts a tale from our recent walking tours of Victoria Gardens – the area outside Leeds Central Library that has seen its fair share of history and still bears the shrapnel scars from an explosion 76 years ago… On the night of 15 March 1941, Leeds was under attack from…

Captain Cook and Doctor Priestley: A Library Tale for Our Times

Heritage volunteer Tony Scaife imagines a secret meeting of great minds in 18th century Leeds… Having borrowed a copy of Peter Whitley’s Lord North: The Prime Minister Who Lost America from Leeds Libraries, I became intrigued at the similarities between the 1770s and today. As his many Whig critics claimed, Lord North’s bungling government negligently lost…

Up, Up & Away, in My Beautiful Balloon

Local History librarian, Antony Ramm, writes about a fascinating little diary held in the collections at the Central Library – and looks ahead to the latest in our Lunchtime Talk series… A recent search through our collections brought to light a most wonderful discovery: a small, handwritten diary for 1848, written by R.B. Harrison of…

The Adam & Eve Garden Today

Local history librarian, Ross Horsley, revisits the site of the former Adam and Eve Garden on Woodhouse Moor. A couple of weeks ago at the Secret Library, we looked back to the early decades of the twentieth century, when a miniature Garden of Eden – home to its own Adam, Eve and Tree of Knowledge…

The Victorian Professions

Antony Ramm, part of the Librarian team in the Local and Family History department reports on a fascinating talk recently given at the Central Library. Over 50 people attended the latest in our Lunchtime Talk series, when we welcomed Professor Laurence Brockliss of the University of Oxford, who introduced our audience to a major research…

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…