Black History Month: Talk on Chapeltown in the 1980s

As part of the Library Service’s programme of Black History Month events, we are delighted to announce that Tom Woolmore will be speaking at the Central Library on Wednesday October 4, 6-7pm, on “black responses to racism and government policy in Chapeltown during the 1980s.” You can book tickets for what promises to be a…

Walking tours of the back-to-back houses, Harehills

University of York PhD researcher Joanne Harrison has continued her collaboration with Leeds Central Library’s Local and Family History department and the Compton Centre Community Hub, hosting a couple of events as part of the national Heritage Open Days weekend. She reports here on the tours and exhibition, how to get involved in the latest…

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…

The Owl on Woodhouse Moor

Bill McKinnon, local historian and activist,  looks back over the life of the Woodhouse Moor Owl – a sculpture so mysterious, we can’t even find a photograph of it! “The Owl … will mount his pedestal today as an emblem of Leeds,” wrote John Lee in the Leeds Times on Saturday 14 April 1883. “The figure of the…

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…

Crime and Punishment in Leeds, 1850

Volunteers’ Week takes place every year from 1-7 June. Leeds Libraries held a celebratory reception yesterday, recognizing the efforts of our volunteering team – including event supporters, At-Home Service deliverers, partners and, of course, heritage volunteers – several of whom have written for this very blog. Today, we hand over to another of these, Joan Ellis,…

Back-to-Back Houses and their Communities

University of York PhD researcher Joanne Harrison is working on an exciting project about the past, present and future of back-to-back houses and their communities in Harehills. Leeds Local and Family History Library is helping Joanne engage with the local communities, working with them to understand the neighbourhood, promote its value, and safeguard its future. Joanne writes… We all…

May Day and Mrs Montagu

We couldn’t let today pass without a look at the holiday’s traditional association with chimney sweeps – the focus of our current ‘Sweepiana’ display at Central Library. Natascha Allen-Smith and Jonathan Wright investigate… May Day is both a religious and secular occasion, celebrated as a devotion to the Virgin Mary but also a ceremony of dance and the crowning the Queen of…