Leeds Library, 1768-2018: 250th Anniversary Conference

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

Call for Papers


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, of Readers and of Reading from Thursday 20 to Saturday 22 September 2018.

Confirmed keynote speakers are:

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

Proposals are invited for papers covering but not limited to the following topics:

  • Libraries: both subscription/private and public, their history, architecture, contents and practices (eg acquisitions, cataloguing), and their representation in the cultural imagination;
  • The history of books: printing and publishing, including e.g. publishing and printing firms and technologies, publication modes and methods (e.g. the serial, periodicals etc), publisher/editor/author relations, sales and marketing and the business of the book;
  • The material production and culture of book: including paper, typesetting and fonts, textual apparatus (e.g frontispieces, prefaces, marginalia, footnotes), book-binding, illustration, and conservation and restoration of books;
  • The history of reading and readers: including e.g. issues of gender, ethnicity, and class, library members and reading practices, reading groups, reader reception, readers’ uses of their reading, and cultural representations of the reader and reading.
  • Literary forms and genres: particularly those well-represented in the Leeds Library itself, such as Victorian popular fiction, travel literature, and history;
  • The future of the book and the library: including e.g. the impact of new technologies and means of accessing and using texts (eg digitisation, kindles), emerging genres of reading and writing (e.g. blogging), and new book spaces and places.

Proposals of c. 300 words, word-processed and accompanied by a 50 word biography, should be submitted by Friday 16 February 2018 at 250conference@theleedslibrary.org.uk.  Proposals for panels of three related papers are also accepted, with a designated chair.  You will be informed whether your paper has been accepted by the end of March at the latest.


Events at The Leeds Library

The Leeds Library Members' Film Club (AOAM2018)

Saturday 7th April,
13:15 to 16:30

Members' Film Club: The “I fought the law…” Crime Season Details are only available in the library. £4.00 including refreshments SORRY - LEEDS LIBRARY MEMBERS ONLY! more...

The Leeds Library, The Through the Pages Anniversary Monthly Film Series (IHON)

Monday 9th April,
18:15 to 20:00

The Leeds Library celebrates its 250th anniversary this year, and each month, we will show a film around the themed monthly exhibitions on display in our foyer. Details are only available in the libr more...

Chelping @ The Leeds Library

Wednesday 11th April,
19:30 to 22:00

Launch of the Leeds Library's monthly spoken word night, hosted by Matt Abbott and presenting award winning Joelle Taylor, supported by Genevieve Walsh. Doors open 7pm. Joelle Taylor Joelle Taylor is more...

Tour of the Leeds Library

Wednesday 18th April,
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...