Writing: Making Your Mark

On Friday 26 April 2019, pop-up exhibitions on the origins, means and future of writing will simultaneously launch in over 20 partner libraries around the UK, including at Leeds Central Library, in tandem with the opening of Writing: Making Your Mark at the British Library in London.

Through images of carved stone inscriptions, medieval manuscripts and early printed works, the family-focused pop-up displays will span five millennia and five continents to deconstruct the act of writing and consider its future in the digital age.

 The free pop-up display will be available to view from the 26 April at Leeds Central Library and the full exhibition will launch on the 1 May in Room 700 and be open until 31 May. 

Alongside the display we will have treasures from the library’s special collections dating back to the 15th century and historic documents and artefacts on loan from Leeds Museums and West Yorkshire Archives. Artist Kasia Breska will be creating a mural inspired by the history of the alphabet throughout the duration of the exhibition and a dedicated writing space will be created to inspire visitors.

Check this page to see an up to date list of the accompanying programme of events, including talks and workshops, and more information about the interactive learning trail that will encourage visitors of all ages to engage in a nationwide conversation exploring one of humankind’s greatest achievements – the act of writing.

Most events will be bookable through www.ticketsource.co.uk/leedslibraryevents


Exhibition Launch

Wednesday 1 May, 5.30 – 7pm.

Leeds Central Library, Room 700

Join us for the opening of the exhibition and be the first to see the amazing books and artefacts on display. Get creative in the writing retreat and watch artist Kasia Breska at work as she creates a large scale mural on the library walls.    


Old Books – A Modern Treasure Hunt

Thursday 9 May, 1pm

Leeds Central Library, Leodis Room

 Yorkshire book-dealer Christian White talks about the thrill of the chase in a life spent hunting forgotten rarities left on the shelf. 

Free, booking required Ticketsource: https://bit.ly/2IpXUIh 


#FoundFiction Writing Festival

Leeds Central Library

Saturday 11 May, 10 am – 4pm

 Aspiring novelists, poets and performers of all varieties are invited to the festival – an action packed creative event in the library. Hosted by Steve Clarkson, the event features panel discussions, writing workshops and literary stunts aimed at empowering writers with the vision, belief and skills needed to put pen to paper.

 Free – Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/ffleeds


Introduction to print making in Dry point using a printing press

Monday 13th May 1-4 pm

Wednesday 8th May 1-4pm

Wednesday 15th May 1-4pm

The Drawing Room, Leeds Central Library

Learn the basics in this introductory class with Paul Hudson who is a practising printmaker. He is associated with Leeds Print workshop, a member of Inkers and Aire Valley Arts; and an East Street Arts Studio holder. Suitable for complete beginners or people who have done some printmaking before but want a refresher.



Treasures on Tour: What People Write

Tuesday 14 May, 2-3pm – Halton Library

Thursday 23 May, 11am-12noon – Oakwood Library

Monday 3 June, 1.30 – 2.30pm – Garforth Library

 Discover how writing has changed over time in this hands on workshop that uses examples of books, newspapers and letters found in our special collections.  See the plagiarised novel that Dickens tried (and failed) to stop and find out about the longest running newspaper featuring the first report of the Great Fire of London. These items all have a fascinating story to tell and shine a light on how and why people write.

 Free, booking required. Ticketsource: https://bit.ly/20b46S1


Arabic Calligraphy Workshop

Tuesday 14 May, 5.45-7.45pm, The Drawing Room, Central Library

Join us for a practical Calligraphy workshop using Nastaliq script with artist Razwan Ul-Haq. Use Bamboo Qalam and hand-mixed ink to explore the subtleties of the Nastaliq script. With the opportunity to bring along your own sketch book for practice and note taking too.

Booking Required

£15 Ticketsource: https://bit.ly/2KJImRX


Arabic Calligraphy Talk

Wednesday 15th May, 1-2pm Leodis Room, Leeds Central Library

The art of Arabic calligraphy has been honed over more than a millennium, reaching an outstanding level of artistic perfection.

Join Artist and author Razwan Ul-Haq whilst he discusses the history and the development of Arabic Calligraphy and how the impact of modern technology could effect this traditional art of writing.

Free, booking required. Ticketsource: https://bit.ly/2PgDUbY


Palaeography – Reading Old Handwriting

Friday 17 May, 10am -12noon, 

Aimed at beginners with little or no experience.  Using documents from the archives we will explore the quirks of seventeenth and eighteenth century handwriting.  You will learn how to read and transcribe documents through numerous stunning examples and hands on practice.

Booking required, 2 hours

 £12 per adult Ticketsource: https://bit.ly/2Z7RX82


Origins of Printing Talk

Tuesday 21st May, 12.30pm Leodis Room, Leeds Central Library


Dr Sara Barker from the University of Leeds will discuss the origins and development of printing.

Free, Booking required. Ticketsource: TBC