Leeds University Library


Art criticism

Art critic and champion of modern British artists, Herbert Read's (1893-1968) extensive personal collection contains around 12,000 items reflecting his varied interests in art, literature, politics and social issues. A particular strength of the collection is some 4,000 catalogues of worldwide art exhibitions. Many of the volumes are inscribed by their authors and annotated by Read.

Art books

Our art books are a miscellaneous collection of works assembled for Lord Brotherton, chiefly published in the 19th and early 20th centuries, with a few of earlier date. Amongst the more notable groups of works are books illustrated by Thomas Rowlandson, by George Cruikshank (including two volumes with original drawings and other material inserted) and by Thomas Bewick.

Medieval manuscripts

The Library's collection includes a dozen particularly finely illuminated manuscripts, representing painting mainly from 15th-century France and the Low Countries.


We hold the letters and papers of the Queen Square Gallery (later the Park Square Gallery), 1964-1978, and the papers and correspondence relating to exhibitions at St Paul's Gallery, Leeds, under the auspices of Yorkshire Contemporary Art Group.

The Artists' Papers Register has a location register of the papers of artists, designers and craftspeople held in publicly accessible collections in the United Kingdom. It includes further details of material held in Special Collections.

Visit the University Art Gallery website.