The Ancient Art of Bookbinding

This week we hear from Library Officer, Philip Wilde, who highlights some amazing examples of bookbinding in the Central Library collections… There is currently a small display outside the Information and Research department on the second floor of the Leeds Central Library that shows just a small selection of some of the fascinating bindings that…

Double, double toil and trouble – What inspired the witches in Macbeth?

This week we hear from Collections Manager Rhian Isaac on some sources for Shakespeare’s witches… It’s a month until Shakespeare Week and to start getting people in the mood I have been bringing out some of our collections to explore why Shakespeare may have incorporated the supernatural into his plays. Monsters, fairies, witches, demons and…

Yorkshire Battles: Battle of Wakefield, 1460

This week Josh Flint from the Local and Family History Department will be using the new Research Guide on Yorkshire Battles to examine the fascinating Battle of Wakefield in 1460 which saw the death of Richard, Duke of York and has been argued to have changed the course of English History while also highlighting the exceptional items…

Methodism in Leeds: A Manuscript History

Local history librarian, Antony Ramm, takes a look at a Central Library treasure: manuscript notebooks that provide an insight into the early history of Methodism in Leeds. Our Central Library recently played host to an exhibition of manuscripts by the unjustly-forgotten Schoolmaster and Antiquarian, Thomas Wilson. As part of that display, our Librarians hoped to…

Early Atlases of Britain: 1742-1818

A recent display outside the Information and Research department on the 2nd Floor of Central Library showcased some of the most interesting maps and atlases from our collections. Most dated from 1742 to 1818; these books are a valuable and fascinating part of our stock, which can be viewed on a reference basis. To consult the…

Dances, Death Rites and Dedications: The Art of Dying

by Adam Barham, Art Library, Leeds Central Library Throughout history, death has inspired artists to create stirring and thought-provoking work. As death affects us all and invokes a whole range of emotions, there are myriad examples of death-inspired art. These include explorations of the nature of death, depictions of deaths and funerals, as well as…

Celebrating England’s World Cup Win: Leeds Style

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library As almost everyone surely knows by now, fifty years ago this week – on the 30th of July, 1966, to be exact – the England team beat West Germany 4-2 to win the football World Cup for the first time. And, while most are familiar with the…

Panic on the Streets of Birmingham: July, 1791

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library On the 14th of July, 1791, a group of eminent Birmingham men – including philosophers, scientists, and newly-rich industrialists – met for dinner at the Hotel on Temple Row. This in itself would not normally be cause for comment; but what sets this meal aside from similar gatherings…