Leeds University Library

Lunchtime talks for all

Published Monday 4 January 2016

Handbill advertising a socialist march in Leeds, December 1908

Come to hear the experts tell some of the fascinating stories within the Library's Special Collections.

All the talks are free to attend, but please book in advance to secure your place.

Leeds Local History and Socialism: the Alf Mattison Collection

Thursday 28 January, 1-2pm, Special Collections, Brotherton Library

Hunslet-born Alfred Mattison was a founder member of the Independent Labour Party. Mattison knew many of the great socialist figures of his age. His enduring contribution to Leeds and its history was a vast collection of books, pamphlets, leaflets, notebooks and diaries, now divided between Leeds City Library and the Brotherton Library. This talk from Malcolm Chase, Professor of Social History, offers an insight into a remarkable man of Leeds.

This talk will also be given at Leeds Central Library on Thursday 14 January, 1-2pm.

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The Experience of Resistance: Conscientious Objectors to the First World War

Friday 19 February, 1-2pm, Treasures Gallery, Parkinson Court

When conscription was introduced in Britain for the first time in 1916, the bill included the concession of the 'conscience clause' granting exemption to those who could prove a 'conscientious objection' to armed service. More than 16, 000 men chose to object on the grounds of conscience and became known as 'conscientious objectors'.

Come along to hear about the wartime experiences of these men and their supporters and gain insight into some of the First World War's lesser known stories

This talk will also be given at Leeds Town Hall on Friday 5 February, 1-2pm

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Visiting Venice: from pilgrims to pleasure-seekers

Friday 18 March, 1-2pm, Treasures Gallery, Parkinson Court

Join Dr Alex Bamji, Lecturer in Early Modern History as she explores what drew visitors to Venice, from fifteenth-century monks on their way to the Holy Land, to eighteenth-century Grand Tourists searching for culture, casinos and Carnival.

Learn how maps, travel journals and early guidebooks have shaped visitors' experiences of the city, and discover why the 'sights to see' both have and haven't changed over time.

This talk will also be given at Leeds Central Library on Friday 4 March, 1-2pm

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The Heart, The Border - Poetry and Exchange

Thursday 28 April, 1-2pm, Treasures Gallery, Parkinson Court

The poet Ken Smith (1938-2003) was a student at Leeds - later becoming a Creative Writing Fellow - and his archive is housed in the Brotherton Library.

Helen Mort, the Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow, has been writing a new poem in response to Ken Smith's piece 'Fox Running'. In this talk, she will discuss movement and borders as themes in Smith's work and explore the challenges and rewards inherent in trying to respond creatively to the work of another poet.

This talk will also be given at Leeds Central Library on Thursday 14 April, 1-2pm.

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Take a look at our online exhibitions to discover more of our unique and intriguing items.