A Brief History of Leeds #6: The Early to mid-19th century

Part six of a series exploring the history of Leeds, using books and other stock resources held in the Leeds Libraries collections. For all the entries in this series, see our dedicated page. Our previous step in this history looked at the place of the industrial revolution in Leeds, noting in particular the growth in…

Much More Than Books: Explorations in our Special Collections

This week, Philip Wilde explores some of the more unusual items held in our vast Collections. You can see a full display of the stock mentioned here outside the Information and Research department of the Central Library.  The Special Collections here at Leeds Central Library comprises of some 17,000 items. The vast majority, of course,…

A Brief History of the Leeds Improvement Acts: 1755 – 1842

This week, Librarian Antony Ramm brings you a brief history of the Leeds Improvement Acts. This content was used as part of a talk given in conjunction with colleagues from the Leeds Museums and Galleries service, on November 7 2019.  The Improvement Acts were a series of private Acts of Parliament passed in the 18th…

Alice Mann (1791-1865)

Alice Mann (1791-1865) Central Street and Duncan Street This Leeds-born radical and publisher operated primarily from a bookshop based in the now-demolished Central Market on Duncan Street (near to Central Street). Alice married James Mann, a prominent West Riding political activist and bookseller, in 1807. After his death she took on his business to support…

Peterloo and After: 19th-century Radicalism in Leeds

Librarians in the Local and Family History department of the Central Library recently curated a small display of books and other stock showcasing the rich tradition of radical politics in 19th-century Leeds. That display has now come to an end, but we reproduce below the exhibition’s descriptive text cards, along with some sample images of…