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Special collections

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The Gott bequest
A collection of 600 early English gardening books and periodicals including works published in the 16th ,17th and 18th centuries, originally belonging to Alderman Beryl Gott, of the local textile manufacturing family and deposited in the Central Library on her death in 1941. Includes herbals, books on garden design, fine examples of hand coloured botanical illustrations, plus Curtis’s Botanical Magazine dating from 1787.

The Porton collection of Judaica
3,500 items presented to Leeds City Council in 1965 by Leslie Porton.  Collection roots are in the Judaica volumes of Rabbi Moses Abrahams’ Memorial Library in Sheepscar, together with Mr Joseph (Leslie’s father) Porton’s Judaica collection. Covers all aspects of Jewish religion and culture in English, Hebrew and Yiddish. Strengths include theological works, religious texts, Jewish and Anglo-Jewish history, biography, Jewish Yearbook, Jewish Chronicle and Jewish Gazette. Rare books, pamphlets and parts of journals, largely in Hebrew and Yiddish from the 19th century are also a feature.

The Gascoigne collection of militaria
3,000+ books, pamphlets and periodicals, covering mainly military and naval history, donated in 1968 by Sir Alvary Gascoigne, in memory of his father, Colonel F.R.T. Gascoigne, of Lotherton Hall. Includes army and navy lists from the early nineteenth century, regimental histories and is a rich source for researchers of 19th century military history.

For further information on these collections please contact tel: 0113 2478282,  informationandresearch@leeds.gov.uk 

The Leeds Pottery Drawing Books and Pattern Books    
The manuscript volumes known as the Leeds Pottery Drawing Books were compiled and used in the Leeds factory as a guide and record of the products. They contain pen and ink drawings of high quality and where enamelled products are recorded they are in water-colour. The books date from 1778 to 1779. Of the twelve known drawing books, nine are owned by Leeds Libraries and Information Services and the other three are in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Pattern Books, dated between 1783 and 1814, form the printed trade catalogue of the factory. They contain a series of engraved plates of designs selected from the Drawing Books issued with a key, or index, in several languages.

Boyne’s ‘History of Leeds’     

William Boyne, Leeds antiquary, 1814 – 1893, used T.D. Whitaker’s 1816 edition of Thoresby’s ‘Ducatus Leodiensis’ and Whitaker’s ‘Leodis and Elmete’ as the basis for his own collection of original material on Leeds. The grangerised set enlarges the original two volume version into seven volumes and includes many watercolours and drawings by local artists.

For further information on these collections please contact the Local and Family History Library 0113 2478290, Localandfamilyhistory@leeds.gov.uk  

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