1970 Clothing Strike: New Resource

We were delighted to welcome University of Leeds student, Jessica Heath, to the Central Library in March of this year. Jessica led a workshop exploring the causes and effects of the 1970 Clothing Strike across Leeds, which was largely led by women workers. The legacy of that workshop, as Librarian Antony Ramm explains, was the…

William Boyne and the Voices of History

Librarian Antony Ramm takes a look at the deep history behind the creation of a celebrated Leeds antiquarian “masterpiece”. This article has been written to accompany the publication of a new Research Guide at the Central Library, exploring our Leeds Antiquarian Collection… William Boyne was born in Leeds around 1814, to Thomas Boyne, a successful local…

Thomas Gent’s 1733 Wood Engraving of Leeds

Librarian Antony Ramm takes a brief look at a lesser-known view of Leeds in the 18th-century… Eighteenth-century Leeds suffers slightly, perhaps, in the popular mind-set, sandwiched between a  19th-century more obviously traceable in its effects on the built environment of the city, and a seventeenth-century with more viscerally thrilling episodes and dominant personalities. While much good…

Booze n’ Footy: On Northern Identity and Masculinity

On Tuesday evening the Central Library welcomed a small panel of experts for an hour-long discussion. @grimupnorth2017’s @123McTom and @mjohnreeve discussing how history can inform identity at the #TheseNorthernTypes roundtable event. pic.twitter.com/Amc2ZPMvRc — Rhiannon Pickin (@RhiannonPickin) April 17, 2018 Designed to spark thinking and discussion around the theme of ‘Northern identity,’ coinciding with the current…

Leeds International Exhibition, 1890

Librarian Antony Ramm takes a brief look at the Leeds International Exhibition of 1890, a spectacular showcase with a sad ending… International exhibitions made a frequent appearance in Europe and the United States during the second half of the 19th-century, providing “nations with opportunities to demonstrate their artistic, technical and scientific ingenuity.” Among the most…

Speed-dating our Library Treasures III

As part of our Library Fest 2018 programme, we once again ran our popular Speed-dating our Library Treasures event – this time twice: on Valentine’s Day in the Tiled Hall cafe and a day later at the Hyde Park Book Club. Both events proved very successful, with attendees taking great interest in the wide range of items…

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…

A Surprising Map of Briggate, 1844

This week on the Secret Library, librarian Antony Ramm takes a look at a lesser-known map collection in the Central Library collections. A recent blog post explored some possible sources for the authentic voice of the 19th-century Leeds working-class. One book in that small grouping included the reminiscences of James Watson, whose youthful dalliance with…