Archive and Special Collections

Old Beginnings, New Endings

One way to look at an archive is in the way it acts as a repository for stories through time and space. Previously our Archive and Special Collections were split between two campuses.

In recent months the collections have moved into a new space on our Headingley Campus. A permanent space for the Archive? This new home will ensure that potential stories held within continue to be available for researchers.

Until recently our new space was outside the Library envelope and occupied by colleagues who maintained and repaired the University’s IT infrastructure. Much earlier, during the First World War, it was a workshop to rehabilitate injured soldiers. Here they acquired new skills to equip them for life beyond war and disability. In 1912, the room’s original function was the metalworking workshop of Leeds Training College. Prior to the building of the College, this space was underneath a field part Kirkstall Grange’s parkland estate. Even further back in time, the lay brothers of Kirkstall Abbey carved out workable fields from moorland, once called Ox Moor.

This is the narrative of the physical space the archive occupies, that now adds another layer to the story.

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By Dr Keith Rowntree
07 Mar 2019
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