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The Brotherton Library and Brotherton Collection  

Enjoy a walk around the beautiful Brotherton Library and view treasures from Lord Brotherton’s collection of rare books.

For Heritage Open Days 2022 we invite you to explore the Brotherton Library before taking a closer look at highlights from Brotherton’s collection.   

Tours will be taking place:

  • Friday 16 September, 11:30 – 12:30
  • Friday 16 September, 14:30 – 15:30
  • Saturday 17 September, 11:30 – 12:30
  • Saturday 17 September, 14:30 – 15:30

In February 1922, Lord Brotherton bought the rare book of poetry that was to become the first volume in the Brotherton Collection. Throughout 2022 we are celebrating the man and his extraordinary legacy.    
Lord Brotherton & his collection  

Lord Brotherton (1856-1930) was the owner of one of the most successful chemical manufacturing businesses of his time. He was also a generous philanthropist who shared his success. He served as Mayor and Member of Parliament for Wakefield and was Lord Mayor of Leeds. He donated £100,000 for the building of the Brotherton Library, and donated his valuable collection to the library on his death.   

The Brotherton Collection of rare books and manuscripts is one of the most important and extensive to be established in England during the first half of the twentieth century. It includes medieval manuscripts and some of the earliest examples of printed books.

Join us to see treasures from the collection, find out why Lord Brotherton started to collect, and discover how he amassed such an important collection in less than 10 years.  

Find out more    

During 2022 Special Collections and Galleries will be celebrating the Brotherton Collection and the centenary of its foundation. Key items will be on display in the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery all through the year. Plan your visit now.    

You can also explore our new online feature telling the Brotherton story and showcasing highlights from the collection.   

Heritage Open Days, England’s largest festival of history and culture, runs from 9 – 18 September 2022. To find out about other free events visit the Heritage Open Days website.

Brotherton Library
Brotherton Library
Brotherton Library