A Partial History of Leeds Central Library

This last Wednesday, to mark National Libraries Week, four of our Local and Family History team, plus one intrepid volunteer, delivered a talk offering a brief history of Leeds Central Library, primarily derived from material found in several volumes of news-cuttings covering public libraries in Leeds. So, this week on the Secret Library we offer…

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…

Methodism in Leeds: A Manuscript History

Local history librarian, Antony Ramm, takes a look at a Central Library treasure: manuscript notebooks that provide an insight into the early history of Methodism in Leeds. Our Central Library recently played host to an exhibition of manuscripts by the unjustly-forgotten Schoolmaster and Antiquarian, Thomas Wilson. As part of that display, our Librarians hoped to…

An LGBT-themed Lucky Dip

By Ross Horsley, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library | The city’s Pride weekend may still be a week away but events are well underway in Leeds Libraries. Yesterday, Stonewall’s Josh Willacy hosted a discussion on ‘The History of Pride and Why It’s Important’, and still to come at Central Library are a special…

Who Led Leeds? Case Study #1: Maud Dightam

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library This article also forms #3 in our occasional series People of Leeds – a celebration of lesser-known contributors to the Leeds story.  Many readers will be familiar with the name and the achievements of Alice Bacon, the first woman elected as an MP in Leeds. And some…

Alf Mattison: A Hidden Figure

by Rhian Isaac, Leeds Central Library I was inspired to take a closer look at our Alf Mattison Collection after I heard Professor Malcolm Chase from the University of Leeds deliver a talk a few weeks ago to a busy room about this fascinating but somewhat shadowy figure. This was a man who despite his…