A Victorian Catering Ledger

This week, Librarian Helen Skilbeck takes a look at an unusual piece of Leeds’ history: Godfrey Wood’s Victorian Catering Ledger. Unassuming to look at but containing a goldmine of information, Wood’s Catering Ledger details events and banquets he catered for in the Victorian era, covering the period 1840s – 1870s.  As well as detailing the…

Working-Class Women in Early Twentieth Century Leeds

On Wednesday the 11th March we have a talk on ‘Working-Class Women’s Autobiographies and the History of Everyday Life.’ This talk will be given by Dr Claire Martin, a Lecturer at The University of Leeds. This article will highlight interesting items from the Leeds Libraries Collection that detail the everyday life of working-class women and…

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,…

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…