Letters From the Past

  by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library While researching upcoming events on the life and career of the 18th-century Leeds Schoolmaster and Antiquarian, Thomas Wilson, we were directed by the ‘manuscripts’ section of the card catalogue in our Local and Family History department toward a very-intriguing collection of letters: The particular interest…

The Lady Tram-Conductor

Here’s a little insight into First World War-era Leeds for you today, in the form of a poem written by Burley resident Edward Carless, and dated 12 February 1916: The Lady Tram-Conductor: A Working Man’s Tribute Strange things happen in time of war; A lady now conducts the car! In uniform, so smart and trim, She’s…

Crime and Punishment in Leeds, 1850

Volunteers’ Week takes place every year from 1-7 June. Leeds Libraries held a celebratory reception yesterday, recognizing the efforts of our volunteering team – including event supporters, At-Home Service deliverers, partners and, of course, heritage volunteers – several of whom have written for this very blog. Today, we hand over to another of these, Joan Ellis,…

A Snapshot of Leeds on June 3, 1917

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library Tomorrow will mark a century since a nationally significant, but oddly little-known, event in the history of Leeds: the 1917 Peace Convention at the Coliseum. This “saw 3,500 people from across Britain gather at the Leeds Coliseum (now the O2 Academy) in solidarity with the February…

New Addition to our Collections: Samuel Marsden

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library The broad outline of Samuel Marsden‘s life and works are well-known: born Farsley, 1764, Samuel emigrated to the Australian colonies in 1793 after accepting an appointment as assistant to the Chaplain of New South Wales. There he took up residence at Parramatta, where he had charge…

Back-to-Back Houses and their Communities

University of York PhD researcher Joanne Harrison is working on an exciting project about the past, present and future of back-to-back houses and their communities in Harehills. Leeds Local and Family History Library is helping Joanne engage with the local communities, working with them to understand the neighbourhood, promote its value, and safeguard its future. Joanne writes… We all…

Early Atlases of Britain: 1742-1818

A recent display outside the Information and Research department on the 2nd Floor of Central Library showcased some of the most interesting maps and atlases from our collections. Most dated from 1742 to 1818; these books are a valuable and fascinating part of our stock, which can be viewed on a reference basis. To consult the…

Dances, Death Rites and Dedications: The Art of Dying

by Adam Barham, Art Library, Leeds Central Library Throughout history, death has inspired artists to create stirring and thought-provoking work. As death affects us all and invokes a whole range of emotions, there are myriad examples of death-inspired art. These include explorations of the nature of death, depictions of deaths and funerals, as well as…