Reference and research resources and services are located on the second floor of the Central library.
There are over 250,000 books, journals and newspapers. Particular strengths include history, literature and historical biography, law and rights.
- online resources
- reference books
- newspapers and journals
- law and citizens' rights
- special collections
Staff can carry out research on your behalf, though charges may apply.
You can contact the Information and research library by:
The Arts Floor is on the 1st floor of Central library and includes the Music and Performing Arts library, the Art library, Studio12 and the exhibition space.
The library holds a specialist book stock of over 10,000 items and has a wide range of resources to support study for individuals and groups in music, art and performance.
Music and Performing Arts library
We stock a large range of sheet music covering most genres and instruments as well as tuition guides to help you learn to play.
Performance sets are available for loan to music and drama groups. These include a large collection of orchestral and vocal sets, wind band sets and part songs. Single copies of vocal scores and sets of chamber music can be borrowed by individuals.
We also have over 12,000 play sets for students of drama, theatre groups and drama enthusiasts to browse and borrow from our diverse collection.
You can try listening to something new and different by borrowing from our wide collections of CDs. We also have a unique collection of music from local artists available. To add your own CD to the collection, pick up a donation form from the library.
Registering your group is simple and free. Contact the library for details of how to join and the latest fees for monthly music and drama set loans.
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).
The Drawing Room is a collaborative city centre studio space based in the Art library at Leeds Central library for artists, tutors and groups to hire.
We have a monthly programme of workshops, activities and special events which changes regularly. These include drawing, painting, printing, sewing and textiles, art talks and more. We invite proposals 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 the workshops. You can buy quality art materials in the Art library or bring your own materials. Times and availability varies daily.
For more information about our monthly programme and workshops, to register a proposal or for hiring the space, contact us with your details.
Our collections feature 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. Our resources include:
- 25,000 books available for loan and a large collection of reference books
- Special Collections include a range of rare art items. These include the
Sanderson Collection, a set of fashion-related illustrations, journals and memorabilia dating from 1770 to the 1950s, the Taphouse Collection, consisting of eighteenth century music scores, as well as a beautiful collection of Victorian Songsheets and some of the last remaining copies of the
Leeds Pottery Drawing and Pattern Books
- exhibition catalogues and pamphlets from local and national institutions, including Leeds Art Gallery and the Arts Council
- magazines and journals including Art Review and Vogue. We keep back issues of many other journals, some dating back to the 1800s
Art library email:
Music and performing arts library email: