Visitations and Pedigrees

This week, Librarian Antony Ramm explores Visitation records – a largely neglected but extremely worthwhile set of family history records from the 16th and 17th-centuries… Family historians will be familiar with the difficulty of tracing ancestries prior to the almost-simultaneous start of Civil Registration and Census records in the mid-19th century (1837 and 1841 respectively)….

Keep on Keeping On: Running a Library Department in a Crisis

This week, Antony Ramm, Librarian-Manager for the Local and Family History (LFH) department at Leeds Central Library, explains the steps staff have taken to continue operating a specialist public library department in these unprecedented times… As previously announced on the Secret Library, the Central Library in Leeds shut its doors to staff and the public…

Leeds United: The Birth of the Club

To commemorate the 100th-anniversary of Leeds United Football Club, our Local and Family History Librarians created four pull-up banners telling the club’s story through books and other resources held at the Central Library. These banners have been on display  since October, but are set to be replaced with a new exhibition soon. The Secret Library…

The Story of Hey’s Brewery Women’s Football Team in 1921

This week on the Secret Library we hear from Josh Flint on the tumultuous year that Hey’s Brewery Women’s Football team had in 1921. 1921 was a fascinating year for Women’s Football and Hey’s Brewery Women’s Football team encapsulated this, as they spent most of the year playing in front of enormous crowds and ended…

The West Riding Radical Press and Leeds Other Paper

This week on the Secret Library we hear from John Boocock on the history of radical publishing in Leeds and the West Riding, from the 19th-century to the Leeds Other Paper in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. This will be the subject of John’s upcoming talk at the Central Library (February 19) – further details…

Talking Rubbish

Do you remember the dustmen and their carts? Then join us at 2pm on Monday January 27, in the Sanderson Room at the Central Library for a ‘rubbish’ story – literally! Talking Rubbish is a visual journey down Memory Lane – discover how rubbish collection has changed through the years and the importance of recycling today….

Male Homosexuality in Britain, 1954-70: The Leeds Link

As part of LGBT History Month in February, Leeds-born writer John-Pierre Joyce will give a talk and read from his book Odd Men Out: Male Homosexuality in Britain from Wolfenden to Gay Liberation, 1954-1970. Here, he takes a look at Leeds and its people at a time of immense social and political change for gay…

Leeds Zoological and Botanical Gardens: A Brief History

This week, Kyle Thomason, a heritage volunteer at the Central Library, writes about the long lost Zoological Gardens in Headingley. The Leeds Zoological and Botanical Gardens were unknown to me until a few months ago. However, when I was younger I regularly saw what I thought was a mini Castle, over grown with no information…