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…

The Manuscript Collection #1: The Armley Enclosure Act & Award, 1793

In the first in an occasional series, Antony Ramm, Assistant Librarian for the Local and Family History department, takes a look at an item in the Central Library’s collection of manuscripts. Many of these manuscripts have not yet been added to our online catalogue, and can only be found in our traditional card catalogue; it…

Explore Your Archive: the Leeds College of Building

Next week sees the return of a familiar landmark in the heritage sector calendar: the Explore Your Archive week of events, which is designed to “increase public awareness of the essential role of archives in our society, celebrate our network of collections and emphasise the skills and professionalism of the sector.” As part of that…

The Magic of Harry Potter is coming to Leeds Central Library

Collections Manager, Rhian Isaac, talks about the upcoming Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition and programme of events in anticipation of the launch in December. It is 20 years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published and we are extremely excited to be bringing the traditions of folklore and magic at the…