Archive and Special Collections
Mechanics Institute and Literary Society, Leeds

Acknowledging venerable roots from the early nineteenth century suggests longevity, establishes relationships, celebrates a cherished ‘tradition’ by institutions that might otherwise be perceived as too young, too modern to have any claim to a heritage. Most of time we accept these claims requiring no further proof.

Recently I came across a set of books in the Leeds College of Art collection The books form a four volume set of James Stuart and Nicholas Revett’s  “The Antiquities of Athens” a new edition published in London, 1825-30. The work, first published in 1762  was instrumental in influencing the way ancient Greece was perceived in eighteenth and nineteenth century Europe. These particular volumes bear the stamp of the Leeds School of Art, City of Leeds but also its predecessor the Mechanics Institute and Literary Society, Leeds. They form a tangible and direct  link between the Mechanics Institute and Leeds Metropolitan University that might otherwise not be illustrated.

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By Dr Keith Rowntree
16 Nov 2017
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