The Library and Archive Collection

Hon. Librarian: Eveleigh Bradford

Re-opening of the Society’s Library. The Thoresby Society library and archive, previously at Claremont, Clarendon Road, Leeds, has now been transferred to its new home at the Leeds Library, Commercial Street, Leeds, and work has begun to re-catalogue the collections and integrate them with the Leeds Library’s own material on Leeds and its history. The Society’s library and archive will re-open for use by members and visitors with research interests in the week beginning 16 May, 2016, though access to some parts of the collection will be limited and by appointment only (see below).

The Society possesses a unique collection of materials concerned with the history of Leeds, built up over the 100 and more years of its existence. The collection includes books and pamphlets, newspapers, maps and plans, pictures and photographs, manuscripts and original documents. This collection will now be drawn together with the Leeds Library’s own books, maps and other materials on the history of Leeds to create an extensive historical resource, which will be open to the Society’s members and to the public for research purposes.

From Monday 16 May the Leeds Library will be open to Thoresby Society members. To gain admittance ring the bell and say you are a Thoresby Society member.

The cataloguing of our library is not yet complete, but from May 16 members will be able to borrow all our borrowable books that are already on the on-line catalogue. (Books over 100 years old and some other designated volumes will be for reference only.)

If you wish to borrow a book which does not yet appear in the catalogue, please send an email to so that we can check whether the book is available. If it is, we can arrange for it to be added to the catalogue and then it can be borrowed unless designated for reference only. This should only take a few days.

As at Claremont, to gain access to archives, maps and images, members and researchers will need to make an appointment by sending an email to As much notice as possible should be given, preferably at least a week. Please note that the catalogues for these resources are not yet available online, but outline information on the Society’s MS archives can be found on the National Archive Discovery database.

The normal opening hours of the Leeds Library are:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9am-5pm;
Tuesday 9am -6pm
Thursday 9am - 7pm
Saturday 9.30am-1pm

Please check their website for changes to these times, for example, on Bank Holidays


To contact the Librarian click the link Library