Through the Pages : 250 Years Of The Leeds Library

As part of our 250th Anniversary we published a commemorative book that looks at how the country’s oldest subscription library of its type has grown and prospered since its beginnings in 1768. Not merely an historical curiosity, today it is thriving as never before, playing a central role in the cultural life of Leeds and being a major venue for literary events.

This book celebrates the Library, telling the fascinating story of its foundation, its buildings, its eminent members and the wonderful books it has acquired. Yet its chapters are of much more than local interest. They consider what visual messages a Georgian library building was expected to convey, what books it should contain and how should they be catalogued. Other chapters address reading and publishing in the context of the Enlightenment, or examines what nineteenth century women were reading and their status in the often masculine domain of libraries. Reflecting the Library’s ambitious plans for the future, another chapter examines why Victorian books deteriorated so quickly and discusses the conservation of historic collections.

This is a book for bibliophiles the world over and a worthy celebration of The Leeds Library’s milestone 250th Anniversary. It costs £30 plus £5 p/p and can be ordered here or directly from the Library.


Events at The Leeds Library