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…

Libraries Week 2021

National Libraries Week 2021 runs 4-10 October 2021 and Leeds Libraries are putting on a host of events – both online and in person – to celebrate our buildings and collections. We are, once again, running our Speed Date a Library Treasure event but this time we’re moving online. You’ll still see a selection of…

Edible Leeds – Heritage Open Days 2021

This week Senior Librarian, Louise Birch, takes us through some exciting new developments concerning this years Heritage Open Days Festival. As the summer recedes and changing leaves signify autumns approach it can mean only one thing, September is upon us and with it the annual Heritage Open Days Festival.  Established in 1994 the festival has…

West Leeds Boys High School

As part of our ongoing Armley Treasures series, librarian Helen Skilbeck looks at the early history of the West Leeds Boys High School. This is a companion piece to the West Leeds Girls High School blog post of August 2020 by Josh Flint. The school opened in September 1907 and was ‘planned not as a…

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…