The Leeds Library is a wonderful mix of the old and the new located at the very heart of a busy shopping centre.

It was founded in 1768 as a proprietary subscription library and is now the oldest surviving example of this sort of library in the British Isles. It boasts Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) as one of its original subscribers.  The collections are particularly rich in travel, topography, biography, history and literature. There are long runs of periodicals, popular novels, children’s books and Civil War pamphlets and Reformation Tracts. About 1,500 new books and audio/visual items are added every year most of which are recommended by our Members.  A large proportion of the Library’s holdings is available for loan to Members. The Library became a charity on 1 July 2008.

If you would like to become a Member, we offer Individual, Joint, Family, Student and Young Person memberships. For the book and heritage lovers in your life, we also offer Gift Membership to the Library, a unique gift that lasts all year round. For more information on joining us, click here.

2018 was our 250th year and alongside a year long programme of events, we celebrated this milestone anniversary with a Dinner, held a 3 day academic conference which attracted delegates and speakers from all over the world and published a commemorative book that looks at how The Leeds Library, the country’s oldest subscription library of its type, has grown and prospered since its beginnings in 1768.

Through the Pages, 250 Years of The Leeds Library, costs £30.00 and can be ordered using the form here.

 

 

 

Events at The Leeds Library

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Nowt but verse

February 21 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Nowt but verseJoin Leeds based poet Hannah Stone for  a series of regular Friday Lunchtime poetry readings at Leeds Library.In February Nowt but Verse welcomes Patrick Lodge, author of no fewer than three poetry volumes published by Yorkshire’s own Valley Press. His most recent collection explores the dark realities of Captain Cook’s voyages. Patrick tends to winter overseas so we have been lucky to pin him down for the day.Booking is free. Bring your own lunch and prepare to be…

Speculative Fiction from Hong Kong with Dorothy Tse (謝曉虹) & Natascha Bruce

February 24 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

A reading and Q&A with acclaimed Hong Kong author Dorothy Tse (謝曉虹) and translator Natascha Bruce. 24 Feb. PWYF.

The Quiet Volume – Tues 25th to Sat 29th Feb 2020

February 25 @ 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Quiet Volume, created by International Live Artist, Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells is an hour long, mesmerising, whispered, self-generated and 'automatic' performance for two at a time. Part of Leeds Lit Fest. Tues 25-Sat 29 Feb. Various times. £6.

The Quiet Volume – Tues 25th to Sat 29th Feb 2020

February 26 @ 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Quiet Volume, created by International Live Artist, Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells is an hour long, mesmerising, whispered, self-generated and 'automatic' performance for two at a time. Part of Leeds Lit Fest. Tues 25-Sat 29 Feb. Various times. £6.

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