Discovering Leeds

We thought it was about time to shout a bit louder about the sister site to Secret Library Leeds – Discovering Leeds. Originally created as part of the Leodis project, the site was funded by the New Opportunities Fund and launched back in 2003. Since then it has had various updates and now sits as…

Wormald’s Yard, Commercial Court and Lower Briggate

On the Secret Library this week, we hear from Library Officer Karen Downham about another project on our Leodis archive of historical Leeds photos… I have recently been indexing for the Leodis website a set of photographs from the area on the eastern side of Briggate, to the south of Boar Lane, which had a…

Talking Rubbish

Do you remember the dustmen and their carts? Then join us at 2pm on Monday January 27, in the Sanderson Room at the Central Library for a ‘rubbish’ story – literally! Talking Rubbish is a visual journey down Memory Lane – discover how rubbish collection has changed through the years and the importance of recycling today….

The Lady Ludd Riots of 1812

Lady Ludd Riots (August 1812) Briggate These took place on Briggate at the height of summer, when a group of women and boys marched through the street attacking corn merchants in protest at perceived high prices. The group was led by a figure styling themselves as ‘Lady Ludd’ – named after ‘Ned Ludd’, the (possibly…

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…

Briggate in Brief

Local History Librarian, Ross Horsley, celebrates Black Friday with a special deal of ten FREE facts about Briggate, one of the oldest streets in Leeds. Whether you’re on the lookout for seasonal deals or finally getting to grips with your Christmas list, it’s likely you’ll find yourself on Leeds’s main shopping street at some point…

Captain Cook and Doctor Priestley: A Library Tale for Our Times

Heritage volunteer Tony Scaife imagines a secret meeting of great minds in 18th century Leeds… Having borrowed a copy of Peter Whitley’s Lord North: The Prime Minister Who Lost America from Leeds Libraries, I became intrigued at the similarities between the 1770s and today. As his many Whig critics claimed, Lord North’s bungling government negligently lost…