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…

Read More: Little Chunks of History

by Ross Horsley and Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library This is an entry in our Read More series. These are ‘long-form’ articles, where staff offer a curated and detailed look at areas of our book collections, usually based around a specific theme or subject. These posts aim to guide the interested reader through to those…

Heritage tours

Find out more about our fabulous Central Library building with a new series of behind the scenes tours. The first dates are this weekend with one on Saturday 10th January 1-2.30p.m. and Sunday 11th January, 12 noon – 1.30 p.m. Further dates follow in February and March. Book your place at http://leedslibraryevents.ticketsource.co.uk/

Slightly Spooky

Everyone loves a ghost story at Christmas don’t they? These real-life tales of haunted houses (left) are taken from the first volume of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research. Originally launched in 1882 to, in its members’ own words, make “an organised and systematic attempt to investigate that large group of debatable phenomena designated…

Beware the Heraldic Beasts

As you wander the staircases of Leeds Central Library you can’t help but notice the lions and dogs carved into the ends of the stair railings.  There are various lions and dogs in different poses including one of a lion sitting majestic in a stance reminiscent of the ones guarding the neighbouring Leeds Town Hall…

Read More: The Gunpowder Plot

by Antony Ramm, Information and Research, Central Library This is an entry in our Read More series. These are ‘long-form’ articles, where staff offer a curated and detailed look at areas of our book collections, usually based around a specific theme or subject. These posts aim to guide the interested reader through to those books that offer a…

The Great Leeds Book Crisis of 1966

In October 1966 the Leeds City Engineers determined the structure of the Central Library in the Municipal Buildings, in particular the load-carrying beams, were not strong enough to carry the weight imposed by the Reference stock.  Within weeks 80,000 volumes were moved from all stack rooms and gallery and stacked upon the library basement floors…