The Mechanics’ Institute: Part I – Cultivating Minds

We hear from regular guest author Tony Scaife on the Secret Library this week. This is the first of a series on the Leeds Mechanics Institute, sourced from books and other resources available in the Local Studies & Research department at the Central Library… When I first moved to Leeds, I was struck by how…

A Brief History of Leeds #3: The 17th-century

The third in a series of articles exploring the history of Leeds, using books and other stock resources held in the Leeds Libraries collections. For all the entries in this series, see our dedicated page. In our previous entry in this series, we briefly touched on the emergence of Leeds as a textile market centre…

Heritage Advent Calendar: Dec 24

Our final Advent Calendar entry comes courtesy of Librarian, Antony Ramm and a notable match played at Elland Road. While Christmas Day football has a long and venerable history in England, there hasn’t been a top-flight match played on that day of seasonal festivities since Blackpool beat Blackburn Rovers 4-2 in 1965. Those days are…

The Yule Log

Day 23 of the Heritage Advent Calendar and it’s time for our final visit to Robert Chambers ‘The Book of Day: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in Connection with the Calendar, Including Anecdote, Biography, & History, Curiosities of Literature and Oddities of Human Life and Character.’ Vol. 2 (1864) For the last time, in Robert Chambers’…

Read All About It – Christmas Time in Leeds

For the 22nd window of our heritage advent calendar we take a brief look at past Christmas Eve editions of the Yorkshire Evening Post (YEP) to see how they ushered in the festivities over the last century… We start with the Yorkshire Evening Post front page from December 24 1996 – Christmas Eve, twenty five-years…

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 Playbills

Following on from yesterday’s great post about the first publication of A Christmas Carol, today, for day 20 of the Heritage Advent Calendar, we bring you the playbills of the show as it appeared historically in Leeds. These playbills are part of our playbill collection, and available to view online at leodis.net Charles Dicken’s ‘A…

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…