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…

A new Civic Hall for Leeds

Last week was the 85th anniversary of the opening of one of the most recognisable buildings in Leeds – the Civic Hall. Librarian Helen Skilbeck looks back at the opening day itself where King George V and Queen Mary visited Leeds to officially open the building. The idea of building a new Civic Hall was…

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…

A History of the Leeds City War Memorial

As Remembrance Day draws near, librarian Helen Skilbeck looks back at the history of the war memorial in Victoria Gardens, close to Leeds Central Library. Until the 1930s, there were buildings occupying the now paved area that now runs the whole length of the Library, City Art Gallery and Henry Moore Institute. These included the Leeds…

Town Hall Terror

Local History Librarian, Helen Skilbeck, recounts a tale from our recent walking tours of Victoria Gardens – the area outside Leeds Central Library that has seen its fair share of history and still bears the shrapnel scars from an explosion 76 years ago… On the night of 15 March 1941, Leeds was under attack from…

Speed-dating our Library Treasures II: Small Books and Big Ideas

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library You may recall that, during our 2016 Library Fest programme, we trialled a new event: Speed-date our Library Treasures. Put simply, this was an opportunity for the public to engage with a wide range of some of our most interesting and unique stock items, all curated by…