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

Our next lecture is the first of our November lunchtime lectures on Wednesday 4th November at 1pm. Kevin Grady will be talking about 'The Early Years of the Leeds Library'

The next evening lecture is on Monday November 16th when Chris Hindle will be talking about Alderman Archie Scarr: Leeds radical ’Mayor of the masses’.

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

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.

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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.