Special Collections Drop-In

Explore the medieval resources of Leeds University Library Special Collections and meet the people who take care of them in these special lunchtime drop-in sessions throughout IMC 2019.

Special Collections houses over 200,000 rare books and seven kilometres of manuscripts and archives, including the celebrated Brotherton Collection. The Special Collections Research Centre is open from 09.00-17.00 during the Congress week (Wednesday opening 10.00-17.00), and IMC delegates are welcome to pursue their research and explore the collections.

Find more details on using the collections

Meet the Archivist! Archives and Special Collections in the North of England

Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery, Parkinson Court
Monday 12.00-14.00
This event is free of charge

Come and meet the people who look after the illuminated manuscripts, incunabula, chained books, registers, court rolls and manorial documents in the north of England.

Representatives from archives and libraries across the region, including the Universities of York, Durham, and the Borthwick Institute, will be on hand to tell you about the medieval materials they have in their unique and distinctive holdings. Staff from Special Collections at the University of Leeds will also be on hand to help with any queries about medieval resources available at the University. We will also have a selection of items from Special Collections at Leeds on show for delegates that demonstrate the breadth of our northern collections.

Rare book librarians and specialist archivists will be happy to discuss how you can use medieval manuscripts and printed books to enhance your research and teaching, and advise you on how to access our diverse collections. Perhaps you’d like to find out more about a career in libraries or archives management, or just see some real medieval documents at first hand.

Come and meet your future research materials and the people who look after them, and start planning your extended IMC 2020 study trip!

Manorial Documents: Highlights from Leeds University Library Special Collections

Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery, Parkinson Court
Tuesday 12.00-14.00
This event is free of charge

Join us for a drop-in session to view some of the extensive range of manorial documents in Special Collections at the University of Leeds. Special Collections staff will be in the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery with a selection of highlights from the collections for delegates to examine close up.

Manorial documents are an invaluable source of information about ordinary people’s lives from the 13th to the 16th century. Many aspects of daily life were regulated by manors which consisted of administrative units with their own courts. The lord of the manor’s powers included the transfer of land, the administration of justice and the resolution of issues relating to communal agriculture. Officials recorded court proceedings in manorial documents which are now a rich resource for economic, social and geographic research.

Many of Special Collections’ manorial documents are part of the Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society collection which is on long term deposit. Of particular interest are the extensive series of court rolls of the manor of Wakefield (1274-1925) and records in the Skipton Castle Collection. Manorial documents from other collections including Wentworth Woolley Hall and John Wilson of Broomhead will also be on view.

Wednesday Wonders: Medieval Highlights from Leeds University Library Special Collections

Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery, Parkinson Court
Wednesday 12.00-14.00
This event is free of charge

Join us for a drop-in session to see medieval treasures from Special Collections at the University of Leeds. Special Collections staff will be in the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery with a selection of highlights from the collections for delegates to examine close up.

The collections at Leeds contain beautiful illuminated 15th-century French and Flemish books of hours, psalters, and prayer books, and German chained manuscripts from the 1450s. Some of these will be on show alongside examples from our fine collection of incunabula. The Library of Ripon Cathedral is held on long-term deposit in Special Collections at the University of Leeds, and includes a Latin Bible from the 13th century. A highlight of the Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society Collection is the enormous series of surviving court rolls of the manor of Wakefield (1274-1925). Examples from our extensive coin collection will also be on show.

Investigating Provenance: The Use and Abuse of Early Printed Books

Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery, Parkinson Court
Thursday 12.00-14.00
This event is free of charge

Drop in to the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery to discover how we can use clues in 15th-century printed books to discover more about how they have been used – and often abused! – over the last 500 years.

Book labels, bookplates, annotations, dedications, visual marginalia and other evidence can reveal fascinating details about the lives and libraries of previous owners. On whose shelves did these books once sit? What can bindings tell us about how these books were regarded? And why did some people choose to scribble and doodle in the margins?

Special Collections staff will be in the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery with a selection of highlights from the collections for delegates to examine close up. Incunabula from Lord Brotherton’s personal library will be on show alongside items from the Ripon Cathedral Library which is held on long term deposit at the University of Leeds.