Music and Art

The Arts Floor

The Arts Floor is on the 1st floor of Central library and includes the Music and Performing Arts Library, the Art library, Studio 12 and the Exhibition Space.

Music and Performing Arts Library

  • Performance sets are now available for loan to music and drama groups. These include an impressive collection of orchestral and vocal sets, wind band sets and part songs which are available for loan to groups. Single copies of vocal scores and sets of chamber music can also be borrowed by individuals. In addition we have over 12000 play sets and welcome students of drama, theatre groups and drama enthusiasts to browse and borrow from our diverse collection.
    Registering your group is simple. Contact the library for details of how to join and latest fees or download the registration pack and application form in the related documents section.
  • The library holds a specialist book stock of over 10,000 items and has a wide range of resources to support performance and study for both individuals and groups. The library also stocks a large range of sheet music covering most genres and instruments as well as tuition guides to help you learn to play.
  • Try listening to something different by borrowing from our varied collections of CDs. We also have a unique collection of music from local artists. Add your own CD to the CD Central collection or borrow music by local artists for free. As a library member you can also take advantage of our music streaming service, Naxos Music Library, providing comprehensive coverage of the classical repertoire as well as a range of other musical styles.
  • A selection of music magazines are available to read in the library. We also hold substantial backruns of selected titles. As a library member you can also access our emagazine service, which includes some music titles.
  • Special collections include the Taphouse Collection, consisting of eighteenth century music scores, as well as a beautiful collection of Victorian Songsheets.

Art Library

Discover a world of creativity in our unique Art Library, the largest public art library in the north of England. Explore the art world with our extensive resources, or create your own masterpieces in our arts and crafts studio.

The Art Library is a member of Leeds Art Libraries in Co-operation (LALIC).

Our resources

Our resource collection features all aspects of art, including architecture, crafts, drawing, painting, fashion and photography. We cover a wide range of artists, from the popular to the obscure, the classic to the contemporary.


We have 25,000 books available for loan and a large collection of reference books. Our book collection includes new publications, classic art books, price guides and encyclopaedias.

Special collections

Our Special Collections include a range of rare art items. Among these is the Sanderson Collection, a set of fashion-related illustrations, journals and ephemera dating from 1770 to the 1950s.

We also have some of the last remaining copies of the Leeds Pottery Drawing and Pattern Books, which were used as a product record in the Leeds Pottery factory during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Research guides for our Special Collections are in the related documents section below.

Magazines and journals

We stock a variety of current journals, including Art Review and Vogue. We keep back issues of many other journals, some dating back to the 1800s. More details are in the LALIC Journal Holdings List, which lists the journal collections of all Leeds art libraries (see the documents section below).

Exhibition catalogues and pamphlets

Our collection includes catalogues and pamphlets from local and national institutions, including Leeds Art Gallery and the Arts Council.

Online resources

Our free online resources include Oxford Art Online (a virtual art reference library) and Art Full Text (an index and collection of electronic journal articles). Crafts and photography titles are available from our eMagazine service.

Drawing Room

This is a collaborative and informative space for sharing skills and inspiring creativity in visual arts for the people of Leeds.

The studio is ideally situated in the Art Library at Leeds Central Library.

It actively promotes art and creativity by providing opportunities to explore, create, develop and learn.

There is a changing monthly programme (PDF 3MB) of workshops, activities and special events which include drawing, painting, printing, sewing and textiles, art talks and more. We invite proposals (PDF 663) from artists who would like to develop their ideas, collaborate and contribute to our programme.

The space is also available to use for art and creative practice to individuals outside of programmed workshops. Free Wi-Fi, books and some resources are available or bring your own materials. You can also buy quality art materials in the Art Library. Just sign in at the Art library counter. Times and availability will vary daily.

Drawing Room is an inspiring city centre studio space for artists, tutors and groups to hire with charges and rates that are comparable to other city centre organisations.

Find out more about our monthly programme and workshops, registering a proposal or hiring the space. Please contact us with your details.

To register an artist proposal contact the Art Library:

Drawing Room
Art Library
Leeds Central Library






LALIC Union List of Journals Union List of Journals.pdf89694pdf
Fees and Charges 2018 and Charges 2018.pdf173416pdf
Registration Pack April 2018 Pack April 2018.pdf577855pdf
Drawing Room Proposal Form Room Proposal Form.pdf675088pdf
Leeds Library Orchestral Sets Library Orchestral Sets.pdf637299pdf

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