Novels That Shaped Our World: Life, Death and Other Worlds

Before The Lord of the Rings, before The Chronicles of Narnia and before Game of Thrones came The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison – the pioneering Leeds-born fantasy author of the early 20th-century. This week on the Secret Library blog we hear from Library Officer Philip Wilde, who talks us through Eddison, his life in…

The ‘Vivacious’ Audrey Mann

When looking through our collection of playbills, it’s easy to let them all blur into one. Girls! Strip shows! Dancing! But what was it like to be one of those girls, and were they all doing the same thing? Librarian Zoe Scott Fitzgibbon chatted with Audrey Mann to find out more. Audrey Mann, born in…

Glimpses of Mary Gawthorpe

As International Women’s Day approaches, we look at some inspirational women of Leeds, as chosen by Local and Family History staff. Here librarian, Helen Skilbeck, reveals her admiration of a local suffragist. A personal favourite of mine is Mary Gawthorpe (1881-1973) who was a teacher, suffragist, suffragette, organiser and public speaker for the WSPU (Women’s…

The Story of Leodis – photographic archive of Leeds

Today’s post comes from Senior Librarian Manager Louise Birch who will take us back in time to explore the origins of the Leodis website, and what it was like to be an indexer of images. The year is 1999, Tony Blair is Prime Minister, Tracey Emin’s ‘My Bed’ exhibits at the Tate, about 12 million…

Rare Book Round Up – Illustrious Illustrations

Each week our Collections Manager Rhian, brings you our ‘Rare Book of the Week’ on our social media accounts, too good to be lost in the daily deluge of tweets and Instagrams we wanted to bring you a round-up of some of our favourites. This week it’s the turn our beloved illustrated beauties. We’ll begin…

Rare Book Round Up – Lockdown Special

Each week our Collections Manager Rhian, brings you our ‘Rare Book of the Week’ on our social media accounts, too good to be lost in the daily deluge of tweets and Instagrams we wanted to bring you a round-up of some of our favourites.  With libraries dating back to the 1800s we’ve got an awful…

Armley and the Domesday Book

On the Secret Library this week we hear from Local and Family History’s Josh Flint who will be delving into Thomas Wilson’s Transcription of the Yorkshire Domesday Book, 1748, and explore what the Domesday Book can tell us about Armley and the people who lived there in the 11th Century. This is part of a…

HOD 2020: Uncovering Hidden Nature with our Historic Herbals

The last in our trilogy of articles to tie in with the final few days of this year’s Heritage Open Days festival: Collections Manager Rhian Isaac shares some of our herbals that have been teaching people about plants and nature for hundreds of years… This year’s Heritage Open Days (September 11-20) has looked a little…