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

Our next lecture will be on Monday January 18th which is our Members Evening with 2 talks by members. As the talks will be virtual you will have to provide your own refreshments this year. Although the members evening is usually just for members this year it will be open to all.

Leeds - A Biographical DictionaryOur next event will be on Monday January 25th at 1pm. This will be a book launch for David Thornton's "Leeds - A Biographical Dictionary".

David Thornton is very well-known as a Thoresby Society stalwart and a Leeds historian. His book "Leeds - A Historical Dictionary of People, Places and Events" was published in 2013 and immediately became an indispensable source book for researchers and writers as well as being a book to dip into to check a fact or to discover lesser known stories. Dr Thornton has now put his lifetime of research into a companion volume, "Leeds- A Biographical Dictionary", containing over 900 biographies of Leeds men and women from the Leeds Mummy c.1100 BCE right through to the present day. This is the first time since R.V.Taylor’s Biographia Leodiensis of 1865 that there has been a single volume providing key facts and important material on the individuals who have made Leeds famous. It will become another essential reference work for historians and all those interested in the history of Leeds. 

If you wish to receive the Zoom link for it, please send a short message to


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 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.