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…

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…

Joseph Priestley: Light and Leeds

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library As part of our Light Night celebrations, the Library is hosting a display of rare books on the subject of light, optics and astronomy. Alongside classics by such prominent scientists and philosophers as Galileo Galilei, Alexander von Humboldt, Christiaan Huygens, Nicolaus Copernicus and Isaac Newton, visitors…