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…

Dances, Death Rites and Dedications: The Art of Dying

by Adam Barham, Art Library, Leeds Central Library Throughout history, death has inspired artists to create stirring and thought-provoking work. As death affects us all and invokes a whole range of emotions, there are myriad examples of death-inspired art. These include explorations of the nature of death, depictions of deaths and funerals, as well as…

Remember the Dead and Fight for the Living

by Louise Birch and Ross Horsley, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library Today is Workers Memorial Day, marking the sacrifice of those who have died as a result of their job, and reminding all employers and employees of the importance of looking after their colleagues. In front of Leeds Central Library, a new plaque was unveiled bearing…

A Giant, Grade II* Listed Work of Art

By Ross Horsley, Local and Family History, and Adam Barham, Art Library, Leeds Central Library For this year’s Library Fest, we decided to create a tour of the beautiful Leeds Central Library that reimagined the building as a huge work of art. Looking to its many and varied architectural features for inspiration, we drew on the works of…

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…

A Hidden Victorian Treasure in Headingley

by Nick Tasker, PhD student in Philosophy at the University of Leeds During pleasant afternoons in Leeds Central Library I have been discovering a story of upward social mobility in Victorian Leeds. It’s also the story of my front room. I recently moved into a new place in Headingley. It’s in a large Victorian house…

Where Was Leeds Maze?

by Ross Horsley, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library When Carver thought about the maze he could picture it very clearly. The thick green walls of leaves, the scuffed brown pathway that may once have been lawn, the iron trellis that was pulled across the entrance at six o’clock each evening. But apart from…

Shakespeare and the Art world

by Adam Barham, Central Library Many artists have felt compelled to depict the plays of Shakespeare. Some are attracted to Shakespeare’s universal themes and complex characters, which inspire them to produce stirring representations of the plays’ inner meanings. Others appreciate his combination of exotic locations and sparse scene descriptions, which leave them free to create…