George Lucas of Woodhouse and the Leeds Temperance Movement

Antony Ramm, local history Librarian, takes a brief look at an incident in the life of George Lucas, Temperance campaigner in 1850s Woodhouse… In the mid-19th-century, the dark side of alcohol was well known to contemporaries; specifically, the damage excessive drinking caused working-class individuals and communities. But even as the darkness rose, there was a light to…

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…

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…

The Leeds Riot Map Collection

Assistant Librarian Antony Ramm takes a look at a new addition to the Local and Family History department in the Central Library. The recent arrival in our Local and Family History department of a new map series is to be welcomed. This is the Leeds Riot Map collection, originally created by Tim Waters for a…

Traces of Tolkien in Leeds

Please note that Alaric Hall’s talk on J. R. R. Tolkien and the University of Leeds has now been cancelled, “because the University and College Union is on strike this week due to proposed changes in the employment conditions of University of Leeds staff.” You can find details of other forthcoming talks at Leeds Central…

On Some Pre-1841 Sources of Leeds People

Local History Librarian, Antony Ramm, takes a brief look at some useful sources for genealogy in Leeds prior to the publication of the 1841 census.  It is surely no exaggeration to say that the vast majority of people doing family history are well-aware of the Census and everything that can be discovered about their ancestors…

Walking tours of the back-to-back houses, Harehills

University of York PhD researcher Joanne Harrison has continued her collaboration with Leeds Central Library’s Local and Family History department and the Compton Centre Community Hub, hosting a couple of events as part of the national Heritage Open Days weekend. She reports here on the tours and exhibition, how to get involved in the latest…

Up, Up & Away, in My Beautiful Balloon

Local History librarian, Antony Ramm, writes about a fascinating little diary held in the collections at the Central Library – and looks ahead to the latest in our Lunchtime Talk series… A recent search through our collections brought to light a most wonderful discovery: a small, handwritten diary for 1848, written by R.B. Harrison of…