Leeds ,

Exhibition exploring the act of writing set to open at Leeds Central Library this week

An exhibition showcasing the origins, means and future of writing is set to officially open in Room 700 at Leeds Central Library later this week.

Inspired by the launch of Writing: Making Your Mark at the British Library in London last week, the exhibition which opens from 5.30pm on Wednesday, May 1 till Friday, May 31, will be augmented with treasures from the library’s special collections dating back to the 15th century and historic documents and artefacts on loan from Leeds Museums and West Yorkshire Archives.

Artist Kasia Breska will be creating a mural inspired by the history of the alphabet throughout the duration of the exhibition and also a dedicated writing space to inspire visitors. This will be accompanied by a programme of events, including talks and workshops, and an interactive learning trail, enabling visitors of all ages to engage in a nationwide conversation exploring one of humankind’s greatest achievements – the act of writing – through the Living Knowledge Network.

The Living Knowledge Network is an innovative partnership of public libraries based in major cities and towns working in collaboration with the British Library, the National Library of Scotland and the National Library of Wales. The Network shares resources, skills and ideas, promoting the enduring values of libraries. As a Network we believe new and innovative ways of working will benefit the millions of people who use public libraries in the UK every day.

Alison Millar, Reader and Culture Development Manager at Leeds Libraries said:

“Leeds Libraries are proud to be a partner in the Living knowledge Network. It gives our customers the chance to experience a taste of exhibitions that are held in the British library. In 2017 we hosted a Harry Potter exhibition as part of the network and that was hugely popular. “We believe that the Writing: Making Your Mark exhibition will have a wide appeal and gives us a brilliant opportunity to build a programme of events and activities around it. We look forward to welcoming visitors old and new to the exhibition while it is with us in May.”

Liz Jolly, Chief Librarian at the British Library, said:

“The Living Knowledge Network is a unique partnership of national and public libraries united by a shared vision to bring knowledge alive for everyone and we are delighted to be to be working with 22 libraries across the UK to share the British Library’s exhibition, Writing: Making Your Mark. We are looking forward to building on the success of the first Living Knowledge Network display, which was based on the British Library’s Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition and welcomed over 775,000 visitors between 2017 and 2018.”

Notes to editors

Leeds Libraries has 35 sites across the Leeds, based in Community Hubs, as well as a Mobile Library service and School Library Service.

The Central Library, opened in 1884, is home to a wide range of Special Collections and resources. The library has the largest public Lending Library in the city as well as specialist departments covering Art, Music, Local and Family History, Information and Research and BIPC Leeds. Central Library is open seven days a week www.leeds.gov.uk/centrallibrary

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - www.bl.uk - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.

The British Library's partners in the Living Knowledge Network are: Birmingham City Council, Bournemouth Borough Council, Edinburgh Council, Libraries Unlimited, Glasgow Life, Kirklees Council, Suffolk's Libraries Industrial and Provident Society (IPS), Leeds City Council, Liverpool City Council, Manchester City Council, Newcastle City Council, The Preston Harris Library, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales, Norfolk County Council, Northern Ireland Library Authorities, Portsmouth City Council, Reading Borough Council, Sheffield City Council, Wakefield Council, Middlesbrough Council and Hull City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Contact Name


Contact Details

Alison Millar

Reader and Culture Development Manager



0113 378 7068

Rhian Isaac

Collections Manager


0113 37 87054