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Local and family history services

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Discover your local and family history in the Local and Family History library, located on the 2nd floor in the Central Library.

Resources available

  • Collections include around 180,000 items - books, journals, directories, maps, photographs, prints, playbills and microfilms
  • Focus on Leeds with significant publications of Yorkshire with the emphasis on West Yorkshire.
  • Online resources including Ancestry in all our libraries and Origins available in the Central library

Subject areas

  • Local History - anything to do with Leeds and Yorkshire – history, geography, religion, education and natural history.
  • Family History – a fast-growing area of popularity, for which we have a wide variety of resources.


Keep up with latest news and events with our newsletter.  The latest one is available to download from the Documents section on this page.​

NEW! Pick up (or download from our Documents section) a copy of our Leeds Industrial Heritage Trail, which gives an introduction to the story of Leeds, concentrating on the legacy of Victorian times and some of the people, places and spaces that have made the city what it is today. It provides you with all the information you need to follow the trail around the historic buildings of central Leeds and along the waterways; as well as details of other places of interest in and around the city.

You can also download the app at www.yourtrailsapp.co.uk/leeds

Learning sessions

We offer a wide range of free local and family history learning sessions in the Central Library these include:

  • Family History for Beginners
  • Maps and Trade Directories
  • Tracing your Family History online
  • Local History online

All these sessions are FREE but booking is essential. You will also need to be able to use a computer for the online sessions.

Research services
If you are unable to visit the library, staff will answer quick enquiries received by e-mail, letter or telephone free of charge. For more detailed research requests a charge is made.

Join our mailing list
Contact us to be added to the mailing list and receive regular updates on upcoming events and activities.
Further information on our services can be viewed in Documents.

Opening hours
Monday           9am to 8pm
Tuesday          9am to 8pm
Wednesday     9am to 8pm
Thursday         9am to 5pm
Friday             9am to 5pm
Saturday         10am to 5pm
Sunday           1pm to 5pm
Tel: 0113 2478290

Local and Family History Library

2nd Floor, Central Library

Calverley Street

Leeds LS1 3AB​​​​​​

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