Leeds Library, 1768-2018: 250th Anniversary Conference

Books, Readers, and Reading: Celebrating 250 Years of the Leeds Library

To celebrate the long and illustrious history of the Leeds Library, the Library, together with the three universities in Leeds, is hosting an international conference on the History of Books, Readers and Reading from Thursday 20th to Saturday 22nd September 2018.

Confirmed Keynote speakers include:

  • Professor Kate Flint – University of Southern California
  • Professor Ian Gadd – Bath Spa University
  • Professor N. Katherine Hayles – Duke University

Over 80 papers will be delivered during the three days of the conference. Topics to be covered include:

  • Libraries – both subscription/private and public
  • The history of books
  • The material production and culture of the book
  • The history of reading and readers
  • Literary forms and genres
  • The future of the book and the library.


The conference will be held at The Carriageworks Theatre and other venues around central Leeds.

Anniversary dinner

As part of the programme of events to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Leeds Library a dinner will be held at The Queens Hotel on Friday September 21. Ian McMillan has been booked to speak at this dinner.


For bookings made before June 30 the cost of the conference will be £120, bookings made from July 1 will cost £160. For students, postgraduate students, Leeds Library members and the unwaged the cost will be £100 before June 30 and £150 from July 1.

Delegates may book for individual days if they wish. Details of the daily delegate rates can be found on the Conference booking page.

The cost for the anniversary dinner is £50.


To book your place at the anniversary conference (click here) and dinner (click here) or call the Leeds Library on 0113 245 3071.





Events at The Leeds Library

Yorkshire Foundation Cricket Archive - Brian Close Collection

Tuesday 29th May,
12:30 to 13:30

A talk about the recently purchased archive of Yorkshire and England Cricketer Brian Close, by Leeds Library member Brian Sanderson. This is a FREE event. more...

Charlotte Brontë in Brussels

Thursday 7th June,
19:30 to 21:30

Headingley LitFest An ‘In Between the Lines’ event Charlotte Brontë in Brussels Helen MacEwan will give an illustrated talk on her recent publication Through Belgian Eyes: Charlotte Brontë’s more...

The Leeds Library Members' Film Club (RW2018)

Saturday 9th June,
13:15 to 16:00

PLEASE NOTE - CHANGE OF DATE!! Members' Film Club: The W&H Season Details are only available in the library. £4.00 including refreshments SORRY - LEEDS LIBRARY MEMBERS ONLY! more...

Tour of the Leeds Library

Wednesday 13th June,
10:30 to 11:30

Visit the historic Leeds Library. The oldest surviving library of its kind in the UK. All welcome but booking essential. more...