Yorkshire Battles: The Battle of Selby, 1644

This week Josh Flint from the Local and Family History department will be using the Research Guide on Yorkshire Battles to examine the importance of the Battle of Selby, fought on the 11th April 1644. The Battle of Selby saw Lord Fairfax and his victorious Parliamentarian army signal the beginning of the end of the Royalists…

Sweeping Through Time

Two weeks ago, we let you in on some of the secrets of the Henry Collection in Oliver Twist with a Twist. This week it’s over to our two experts on the subject, Jonathan and Natascha, to share a few of their favourite finds. Did you know that Leeds Central Library holds extensive collections on the English…

Presented for your entertainment…

While looking through our playbill collection we were fascinated by the range of different acts which have been presented to audiences in Leeds over the years.  Here are just a few. The Theatre, which was on Hunslet Lane, opened in 1771 with room for 600 people. Most of the plays performed were comedies, or comic operas,…

2015 Anniversaries

It is well known that the next 12-months see several anniversaries of major significance: the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta (1215); the 600th anniversary of Agincourt (1415); and the 200th anniversary of Waterloo (1815). But those three anniversaries are not the whole story, with 2015 also marking several other events of historical and literary importance:…

Beryl Gott and the Gott Bequest

In volume 10 of our copy of ‘The Northern Gardener’ published in 1956, there is an article by Kenneth Lemmon, the Honorary Editor, which says of the Gott Collection in Leeds Central Library ,’I cannot think of another such collection outside the R.H.S. Lindley Library or the British Museum and the older universities.’ Whether that…

First World War and Art

The First World War had a striking effect in the art world, influencing both the style and themes of many artists. Our collection at Central Library includes an impressive range of books concerning art from the wartime period. Housed in the Art Library, the books cover various art styles ranging from pencil drawings to poster…

Telling the Future in the Past

You might not have needed a fortune teller to predict the country’s performance in some of this summer’s sporting events but, if you’re still looking for a little old-fashioned advice from Destiny, the Local and Family History department at Leeds Central Library can certainly help you out. Mother Shipton’s Wheel of Fortune was printed in…

The Gledhow Hall scrapbook

One fascinating item in our collections is a scrapbook put together by the matron at Gledhow Hall hospital during the First World War. Officially entitled ‘The Great European War’ the scrapbook consists of photographs, newscuttings, letters and ephemera relating to life in the hospital between 1915 and 1919. Gledhow Hall at the time of the…