The libary is now open. For details of the current hours and safeguarding arrangements please go to:

Our 2020-2021 programme is about to start on Tuesday September 15th with a joint meeting with the Leeds Library. Jill Liddington will be talking about Anne Lister of Shibden Hall, Halifax, the subject of the recent television series Gentleman Jack.

The first monthly lecture is on the following Monday September 21st when Alexander Lock will be talking about A Protestant work ethic? Catholicism and estate management in the late eighteenth century.

Both these lectures will be held on Zoom so need to be booked in advance so that you will be sent the link in time to connect. To reserve a place for these lectures please send a message to

The intention is to have all the talks online until it becomes safe to return to having live ones. This does mean that those of you who normally have difficulty attending will be able to enjoy them from the comfort of your own home. You should be able to connect to the link through a web browser on whatever device you normally use.

If any of you haven't already used Zoom or one of the other meeting programs let Alan know and we can arrange a trial session to iron out any problems.

The full programme of talks, including the November lunchtime ones, can be found by clicking Lectures on the left or using this link

Follow us on Facebook for lecture reminders and other notices.


Park Row 1829July 15th - lecture by Kevin Grady

‘A Stranger’s Guide to Leeds in 1830’

A 'Tardis-type tour through time' using a profusion of contemporary illustrations to recreate Leeds and its buildings and streets in 1830

Click for full details and link to the lecture on YouTube


The Thoresby Society is the historical society for Leeds and its surrounding area and is open to everyone interested in the city’s rich past and its development over the centuries. It has a long-established library and archive collection, including historical records, maps, newspapers, and images, provides a varied programme of monthly talks and summer excursions, and publishes original research on aspects of Leeds history in its highly regarded annual publication (free to members).

The Society was named after Ralph Thoresby (1658-1725), the first historian of Leeds. It was founded in 1889 to encourage and foster an interest in the history of Leeds and its area, to support and publish relevant research, and to collect and preserve material from the past. Today it continues to welcome new members with an interest in local history, and its collections and lectures are open to the public.

The Society is based in the historic Leeds Library, an independent library founded in 1768, in Commercial Street, Leeds LS1 6AL, in the heart of the city. The Society’s library and archive collection is located here, and members are welcome to use the library and the facilities of the Leeds Library, which is open every weekday and Saturday mornings.

You will find more about the Society’s library and opening hours, its programme of activities, and its publications, as well as a wide range of information on Leeds history, by exploring the topics listed on the left, where you will also find details of membership and how to join the Society.