Leeds University Library

Edward Boyle Library

Edward Boyle Library atrium

With the rapid expansion in higher education after the Second World War, student numbers at Leeds grew enormously. As a result, the University appointed the architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon in 1959 to develop a buildings strategy for an extensive teaching precinct.

Their ambitious plans for the campus, now manifest in concrete, included a new building to hold "10 copies each of the 3,500 most used items in the Library collection and 40,000 reference works". However, it was to be more than a decade before the vision was realised.

Opening ceremony of the Edward Boyle Library

The Edward Boyle Library was opened by the former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in 1975 and was designed to act as the University's "undergraduate library", offering students core course materials and new teaching spaces.

By the 1990s student numbers at Leeds had more than doubled to over 17,000. A southern extension to the Edward Boyle Library, which opened in 1998, provided much-needed additional study and computer areas.

The Edward Boyle Library was given Grade II listed status in 2010.