The Leeds Library, 1768-2018: 250th Anniversary Conference

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

Conference Leaflet

The Conference Programme. The most up to date version is online here or download the pdf here: leeds_library_conference_programme_final

Booking. To book your place at the anniversary conference (click here) and dinner (click here) or call the Leeds Library on 0113 245 3071. Booking for the conference has been extended to Friday 14 September.

FAQs: Paper Length/Accommodation/Directions/Venues/Costs/Dinner/Contact. Download the pdf here: 250 Conference Delegate Information and FAQs (1)

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.

Keynote speakers are:

  • Thursday 20 September, Professor Ian Gadd (Bath Spa University), The Ambient Book
  • Friday 21 September, Professor N. Katherine Hayles (Duke University), The Future of Writing in the Digital Age
  • Saturday 22 September, Professor Kate Flint (University of Southern California), Composing, Reading, and Decomposing the Victorian Book of Nature

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 (Thurs 20 Sept/Fri 21 Sept), The Leeds Library and Holy Trinity Church (Sat 22 Sept), with the conference dinner at The Queens Hotel (Fri 21 Sept).

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 21 September. Renowned poet, playwright and broadcaster Ian McMillan has been booked to speak at this dinner.


The cost of the conference from 1 August will be £160. For students, postgraduate students, Leeds Library members and the unwaged the cost will be £150 from 1 August.

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.

Contact Us

Any queries please contact the conference organisers via the dedicated conference email address or call the Leeds Library on 0113 245 3071.





Events at The Leeds Library