Leeds University Library
Caught in the Russian Revolution: the British Community in Petrograd, 1917-1918

Caught in the Russian Revolution: the British Community in Petrograd, 1917-1918

An exhibition exploring the 1917 Russian Revolution.

Wednesday 1 March - Monday 31 July 2017

This exhibition marks the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which changed the course of world history.

Offering a unique perspective on this violent episode, the exhibition focuses on the British community in St Petersburg, renamed Petrograd at the start of the First World War.

The community was well established from the 18th century. Several generations of families helped to develop the city's infrastructure and commerce. The Revolution in February 1917 disrupted all their lives and the Bolshevik seizure of power in October destroyed any hope for their future in Russia.

This exhibition draws on the Leeds Russian Archive, which includes eyewitness accounts in the form of diaries, letters, and photographs to explore a pivotal moment in world history. The exhibition celebrates 35 years of the Leeds Russian Archive at Special Collections in Leeds University Library. 

The exhibition is curated by Richard Davies, archivist of the Leeds Russian Archive since its establishment in 1982. 

Frontispiece, Poems Written by Wil. Shakespeare, Gent., 1640

For All Time: Shakespeare in Yorkshire

This special exhibition explored the relationship between Shakespeare and Yorkshire. Open till 31 January 2017.

5 September 2016 - 31 January 2017 

After Shakespeare's death his friend Ben Jonson wrote in tribute, "He was not of an age, but for all time!"

Shakespeare's history plays dealt with England's unstable political past. His comedies and tragedies featured cosmopolitan settings, intense rhetoric and witty wordplay. His popularity has lasted and his works are now desirable collectors' items.

Four hundred years after the death of Shakespeare, this remarkable exhibition displays for the first time in one place the rare Shakespeare materials collected by Lord Brotherton of Wakefield (1856-1930). Lord Brotherton one of the country's leading private collectors of rare books and manuscripts. On his death he left his remarkable collection to Leeds University Library, including the "holy grail" of book collecting, the four 17th-century Shakespeare folios. He also collected "apocrypha", books that had Shakespeare's name on the title page but were in fact by other writers. These include A Yorkshire Tragedie, telling the story of a murder in Calverley in 1605.

All these books and much more are on display in our new exhibition at the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery. Discover how Shakespeare and his contemporaries dramatised Yorkshire history and how modern theatre companies and directors are still using his work to ask questions about regional identity. 


On Conscientious Grounds: Objection and Resistance in the First World War

On Conscientious Grounds: Objection and Resistance in the First World War

One hundred years ago, the British government introduced conscription. This exhibition explores what happened when able-bodied men refused to fight in the First World War.

This thought-provoking exhibition presents the first-hand experience of the men and their families and friends, through letters, artwork, diaries, postcards and personal items.

The political background to their beliefs is shown through Government documents introducing conscription and the reaction to it from pacifist organisations. Various wartime roles available to conscientious objectors offered ways of serving their country during wartime that did not involve fighting.

The display also highlights the public reaction to the men who refused to take part in war.

1 February - 30 July 2016

Cooks and their Books: Collecting Cookery Books in Leeds

An exhibition showcasing highlights from the University Library Cookery Collection. Opens 1st September 2017 more...

Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery exhibition

The Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery is a public exhibition housed by the University of Leeds, rooted in Yorkshire and open to the world. more...