Archive and Special Collections | Blog

Daffodils and The Grange

'O! My Dear Jane!'

The 7 April marked the 250th anniversary of William Wordsworth’s birth, the great poet of the Romantic tradition, beginning yearlong celebrations of his life and work. Keith Rowntree investigates a surprising connection with our University’s past.

Old photos of men and building

All they hoped for. All they had. At rest

With VE Day now being celebrated, Keith Rowntree reflects on just some of the students and staff from one of our predecessor colleges who were thrown into a conflict that scattered them across the globe.

City of Leeds Training College students sitting in a Scarborough rock garden

Studying between the Salt Water and the Sea Strand

In the second of his articles, Keith Rowntree explores how students and staff of the City of Leeds Training College coped with adverse conditions during WW2.

Aerial view of Beckett Park Hospital

Supporting the Country, Then and Now

In the first of two articles, Keith Rowntree reflects on the experiences of our University now during the pandemic and previous historical events; exploring how one of our foundation colleges contributed in two world wars.

Sketch of a man


On the evening of 17 February 1916, Gilbert Ashcroft sent a postcard to his mother Hannah thanking her for a recent parcel and a letter he had received just that day.

The 1962 Leeds College of Art  prospectus cover

From Bauhaus to Basic Design

One hundred years ago, in the April 1919 Bauhaus manifesto, the architect Walter Gropius wrote ‘Architects, sculptors, painters—we all must return to craftsmanship!’

Ethel Gray (front), Zoe Walford and Gertrude Clapham (standing) with Richard Parker (behind).

Remembering Miss Gray

To mark International Women's Day on Friday 8 March, Keith Rowntree explores the life of a long forgotten member of staff at the City of Leeds Training College.

Historical picture of student doing PE

Lesser-known uses of the Archive: An Academic Librarian’s view

Academic Librarian Laurence Morris, guest blogs about his experiences concerning the University's Archive and Special Collections.

Hunt picture frame

Ruskin's Gift

John Ruskin was born on the 8 February 1819, 200 years ago. To commemorate his bicentenary Keith Rowntree explores the links between the celebrated art critic and Leeds School of Art. 

Gorilla statue

Aping History

Guest blogger James Fisher investigates the fascinating story behind a little known big sculpture.

A previous post highlighted the somewhat forgotten history between Leeds Beckett University and the original Leeds College of Art, and consequently the University’s legitimate claim of Henry Moore as part of its heritage. Moore’s legacy in Yorkshire is extensive, a permanence which is especially apparent with the eponymous Henry Moore Institute located on The Headrow in central Leeds.