Double, double toil and trouble – What inspired the witches in Macbeth?

This week we hear from Collections Manager Rhian Isaac on some sources for Shakespeare’s witches… It’s a month until Shakespeare Week and to start getting people in the mood I have been bringing out some of our collections to explore why Shakespeare may have incorporated the supernatural into his plays. Monsters, fairies, witches, demons and…

Speed-dating our Library Treasures IV

Last Wednesday night saw the latest instalment of the Speed-date a Library Treasure event, this time taking place in the cosy upstairs room of Further North in Chapel Allerton.  Leeds Libraries staff brought along a number of treasures from the special collections and with 3 minutes between each bell they hurried to extol the virtues…

Leeds Baby Week and US. Patent 3,216,423

This week, Librarian Louise Birch takes a look at an intriguing patent for Leeds Baby Week:  an “Apparatus Facilitating the Birth of A Child By Centrifugal Force”. Leeds Central Library is home to a Business and Intellectual Property Centre, part of a network of regional centres here to help out all you inventors, designers and…

Thomas Gent’s 1733 Wood Engraving of Leeds

Librarian Antony Ramm takes a brief look at a lesser-known view of Leeds in the 18th-century… Eighteenth-century Leeds suffers slightly, perhaps, in the popular mind-set, sandwiched between a  19th-century more obviously traceable in its effects on the built environment of the city, and a seventeenth-century with more viscerally thrilling episodes and dominant personalities. While much good…

Speed-dating our Library Treasures III

As part of our Library Fest 2018 programme, we once again ran our popular Speed-dating our Library Treasures event – this time twice: on Valentine’s Day in the Tiled Hall cafe and a day later at the Hyde Park Book Club. Both events proved very successful, with attendees taking great interest in the wide range of items…

A Surprising Map of Briggate, 1844

This week on the Secret Library, librarian Antony Ramm takes a look at a lesser-known map collection in the Central Library collections. A recent blog post explored some possible sources for the authentic voice of the 19th-century Leeds working-class. One book in that small grouping included the reminiscences of James Watson, whose youthful dalliance with…

2018 meets 1918, 1818, 1718…

To mark (yet another) new year, librarian Antony Ramm takes a brief look at a a small selection of books from the Central Library collections, all celebrating a significant milestone this year (100th-anniversary, 200th-anniversary, 300th-anniversary):  Women and the Labour Party (ed., Dr. Marion Phillips) A collection of essays published in 1918, all written by women…