The Leeds Library – Founded 1768

The Leeds Library MugI saw this mug, a penguin books – The Body in the Library, when I first visited The Leeds Library and I knew I really ought to use it in a photograph on my Leeds in Yorkshire photography blog.

I often passed the doorway to The Leeds Library, it was always shut and could perhaps be mistaken as an entrance to the building society adjacent.

Having run this blog for more than 6 months now I am much more likely not to put a closed door stand in the way of a chance of a few pictures. So having looked up The Leeds Library on google I emailed and asked if I could have a look around and take some photographs for the Leeds Daily Photo.

Founded in 1768 The Leeds Library is the oldest surviving subscription library here in the UK.

The Leeds Library
The Leeds Library

You can see the building that was built in 1808 to house The Leeds Library on Commercial Street in the heart of Leeds in the above photograph. The entrance to the library is just behind the blonde girl with the ponytail.

Today the building built by Thomas Johnson in a Greek revival style is grade II* listed and rightly so.

The first secretary of The Leeds Library was Joseph Priestley (13 March 1733 – 6 February 1804) who was an 18th-century English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works. He is usually credited with the discovery of oxygen.

Thanks to Claire for hunting down the mug and washing it for my photograph.

The Leeds Library can be contacted at this address and phone number:

The Leeds Library
18 Commercial Street
West Yorkshire

Tel: 0113 245 3071
Fax: 0113 245 1191