A Library at War: Leeds Central Library during WW2

Ahead of next week’s Lunchtime Talk, which will see our team of Librarians from the Local and Family History department offering a brief history of Leeds Central Library, we hear from regular guest author Mike Harwood, who tells the story of this building during the tumult of World War 2… ‘Tuesday, 31 October 1939: “Felt energetic…

Tales from Circus 250: A Topography of the Circus in Leeds, Part I

Although our Central Library exhibition looking at the Circus scene in Leeds has now been taken down (and replaced with an equally interesting exhibition highlighting themes from the BBC’s Civilisations series), the wider celebration of the modern Circus in the UK will continue all year. So, to mark the 250th-anniversary of Philip Astley’s leap into…

People of Leeds #1: Sam, the Newsman

The first in an occasional series looking at forgotten contributors to the history of Leeds. This week, Librarian Antony Ramm tells the story of 19th-century newsagent Samuel Schofield, better known to contemporaries as ‘Sam, the Newsman’… There was once a time – not so very long ago – when visitors to the centre of Leeds…

Tales from Leeds Pantomimes

This week on the Secret Library, local history Librarian, Antony Ramm, brings you three of his favourite stories from Leeds’ rich pantomime tradition. Oh yes he does! In May of 1986, J. Ingle of Otley wrote to the Yorkshire Evening Post to ask how long pantomimes had been taking place in Leeds – and was…

George Corson, leaving his mark on Leeds

Today we bring you the architect and designer of our 1884 Municipal Buildings, George Corson.  Born in Dumfries, Scotland, George like his older brother William trained under Scottish architect Walter Newall.  George followed his brother to Leeds where on the 1851 census aged 21 and 28 they are registered as living at Number 21 Lyddon…

The Leeds Arts Club

This week we hear from Library and Digital Assistant Ruairí Lewis who talks us through the fascinating history of the Leeds Arts Club through library stock and collections… Among our local history collections are a few volumes on the history of the Leeds Arts Club, and its fascinating founder, Alfred Orage. Very little has been…