The Thoresby Society Library and Archive Collection

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The Thoresby Society is named after Ralph Thoresby (1658-1725), the first historian of the town. Since its foundation in 1889 the Society has published books about Leeds, including the transcripts of the parish registers. We have a varied programme of lectures and excursions throughout the year. New members are always welcome. Please note that, as the society is manned by volunteers, it is not possible to undertake research. The Thoresby Society is a member of the Centre for Heritage Research based at Leeds University.

Venue Type:

Archive, Association or society

Opening hours

Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wednesday from 4.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

As the Library is staffed by volunteers, there may be occasions when it is not possible to open the Library as scheduled; if you are travelling from a distance, please phone beforehand to check.

Admission charges

Arrangements for Non-Members: The Library is open to visitors and enquirers, who are welcome to come to search the catalogues for material of interest to them. This facility is free of charge. However, if access to books, maps, illustrated materials or manuscripts is required, the Society has to charge a minimum fee of £3 a visit.

The Society’s Library houses a unique collection of materials concerned with the history of Leeds, built up over the 125 years of the Society’s existence. The collection includes books and pamphlets, newspapers, maps and plans, pictures and photographs, manuscripts and original documents. Various catalogues are available to help members and visitors to find their way round the collection. Members of the Society are entitled to borrow books and pamphlets in the collection (except for works of reference and certain designated volumes) for a period of up to three months.

Collection details


The Thoresby Society Library and Archive Collection
Clarendon Road
West Yorkshire




Telephone line shared with the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. Please ask to be put through to the Thoresby Society: a message can be left if the Library is not open.

0113 2457910

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.