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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Members Only – Book Club @ The Leeds Library

October 14 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Come along to our free monthly Members' Book Club, 5.30-7pm. October's read is Kate Atkinson’s first Jackson Brodie novel Case Histories (2005). All welcome.

Tour of The Leeds Library

October 16 @ 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 (WWDS2019)

October 16 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Members' Film Club: The I am serious....and don't call me Shirley Season 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!

Nowt but verse

October 18 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Nowt but verse Nowt but verse returns on Friday 18 October when Hannah Stone will be in conversation with Rosemary Mitchell. Together they have written Holding up Half the Sky, a collection of poems and stories which are based on real events in the lives of women from the Egyptian Desert to the White house, via the courts of Europe and a certain hotel in Harrogate. Intrigued? pop in with your sandwiches for an hour of entertainment in the delicious…

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