Archive and Special Collections | Blog


Many educational institutions in Leeds rightly claim descent from the Leeds Mechanics Institute founded in 1824 and Leeds Met considers itself one of them.


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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Dr Keith Rowntree

Keith Rowntree maintains the University's Archive and Special Collections which are currently held at the University’s Library, situated on our Headingley Campus. We collect, describe and preserve material for future generations while seeking to promote knowledge of, and access to this rich heritage for educational, professional and research purposes.

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