Slavery in Yorkshire

This week on the blog we hear from Library Officer Ruairí Lewis about a heated debate between two leading local men in the early 19th-century… In 1830, the ‘Tory Radical’ Richard Oastler sent an open letter to the Leeds Mercury, owned and edited by prominent Leeds liberal Edward Baines (1774-1848), entitled ‘Slavery in Yorkshire’. Oastler…

National Volunteers’ Week 2022

This week (1-7 June) is Volunteers’ Week and we’re taking this opportunity both to thank our current volunteers and launch some new heritage volunteering opportunities Firstly a huge thanks to A, C, J and R for being excellent heritage volunteers. They all began pre Covid but have stuck with us through lockdowns and closures and…

Rare Books Round Up – Big Garden Birdwatch Edition

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 of Birds. This weekend marks the…

Botanicals of the Winter Solstice

It’s day 21 of our Heritage Advent calendar and also the Winter Solstice, to celebrate we’re delving deep into a very beautiful item from our Special Collections. Some of our favourite winter plants can be found in the beautifully illustrated encyclopaedia of trees Sylvan Musings, or, The Spirit of the Woods (1849)by Leeds botanist and…

A Christmas Carol and the Ghosts of Christmas

By Rhian Isaac, Senior Librarian for Special Collections A perfect Christmas treat for day 19 is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens which was published on this day, in 1843. The cold, dark winter nights have always invited the sharing of supernatural tales and Christmas has long been associated with ghosts. However, the telling of…

Military Christmas Cards

Day 16 of our Heritage Advent Calendar is brought to you by Rhian Isaac, Senior Librarian for Special Collections. In 1968 Sir Alvary Gascoigne donated to Leeds Libraries, a collection of over 3000 books, pamphlets and periodicalsin memory of his father, Colonel F.R.T. Gascoigne, of Lotherton Hall. The Gascoigne Collection mostly includes items relating to military…

Comic Art and Caricatures in our Collections

In today’s post our Senior Librarian for Special Collections, Rhian Isaac, explores the connection between comic books and some of the library’s prints, books and periodicals from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. This weekend is the annual Thought Bubble Comic Convention, a two day celebration of comics, their creators and their fans. We have…