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…

The Art of the First World War

by Adam Barham, Art Library. 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…

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…

Mad about cycling!

As Saturday 5th July 2014 sees the City of Leeds host Le Grand Départ, the start of the world famous Tour de France, we would like to highlight one of the many displays we have here at the Central Library to mark the occasion. Our collections in the Information and Research department include numerous items…

Lepidoptera in the Library

Spring is definitely here, trees are heaving with blossom, daffodils are swaying gently in the breeze and the butterflies are back. To celebrate this re-emergence of colour into the natural world we bring you a selection of our heritage Butterfly and Moth stock. Now those of you who don’t consider yourselves Lepidoptera fans shouldn’t flutter…

Remembering Barnbow during World War 1

This week we saw the return of a special item in our collections which had been out on loan to Lotherton Hall as part of their ‘Duty Calls’ exhibition. ‘Barnbow, No.1 (Leeds) National Filling Factory : a Short History and Record’ was compiled by R.H. Gummer, Chief Engineer in November 1918. The preface of the…

Valentine’s Day Casanova

Looking for a scandalous love affair this Valentine’s Day?  Look no further than the Leeds Central Library Special Collections for ‘The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova written by himself now for the first time translated into English in twelve volumes’. Privately printed in 1894 the title page explains that ‘This Edition is strictly limited to 1000 numbered…