CORONAVIRUS UPDATE. The Leeds Library will close on Sat 21st March at 1.30pm until further notice. READ HERE.

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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Upcoming Events

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Chelping @ The Leeds Library

April 22 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Chelping returns to the Leeds Library on Wed 22 April with poets Hollie McNish & Camille McCawley & open mic. Tickets £8.

Tour of The Leeds Library

May 2 @ 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.

Tour of The Leeds Library

May 13 @ 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.

Nowt but verse

May 15 @ 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.Peter Spafford, Director of Words at East Leeds’ very own Chapel FM radio station is our guest in May. He has written for theatre, radio and opera, and is also a member of the popular music/spoken word group Schwa. He is published by Valley Press and has a recent book incorporating photographs from Lucy Saggers. Booking is free. Bring your own lunch…

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