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 the members.  A large proportion of the Library’s holdings is available for loan to its members. The Library became a charity on 1 July 2008.

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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John-Pierre Joyce’s launch of ‘Odd Men Out’

September 5 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

John-Pierre Joyce is a writer, journalist and teacher. Odd Men Out is his first book and is based on ten years of research. He has written on the subject of male homosexuality for other publications, including History Today (e.g. February 2016 and July 2017 issues: http://www.historytoday.com/john-pierre-joyce/curing-homosexuality; http://www.historytoday.com/john-pierre-joyce/road-equality). He also advised on the short film The Colour of His Hair (2017), directed by Sam Ashby, premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, and winner of Best Documentary at the London Short…

Tour of The Leeds Library

September 7 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am

Visit the historic Leeds Library. The oldest surviving library of its kind in the UK. All welcome but booking essential. If your group is larger than 6 people please contact the library in advance. Charges may apply.

The Leeds Library Members’ Film Club (TTOTSM2019)

September 7 @ 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Members' Film Club: The Continental Drift Season: The Americas Details are only available in the library. Register for FREE now. Refreshments and snacks will be available at £4.00 per head - payable before the screening at the Library Counter. SORRY - LEEDS LIBRARY MEMBERS ONLY!

MODERN GEORGICS with Simon Armitage, Helen Jukes and Jack Thacker

September 9 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Join us for a special event celebrating the ‘georgic’ in modern literature, and featuring readings of poetry and prose by three of the country’s finest contemporary writers. The Georgics (29 BC), by the Roman poet Virgil, is sometimes described as a ‘farming manual in verse’. Its descriptions of agriculture and exploration of humanity’s relationship with nature have inspired writers for centuries. It is also famous for its tensions and its ability to deal with darker social themes including war. As…

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