Papers and correspondence of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society

Scope and Content

Comprises minute books, papers and correspondence of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, 1819-1951, together with philosophical papers, ca.1775-ca.1790, of William Hey, senior, FRS, and mayoralty papers of William Hey, junior, Mayor of Leeds, 1820

Administrative / Biographical History

The Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society was founded in 1819 and played an important role in further education, in both the sciences and the humanities, in Leeds throughout most of the 19th century. The changing patterns of higher education and other circumstances were causing the Society to reconsider the scope of its activities by the time of the First World War; after the War the Society transferred its museum to the City of Leeds and its library to the University, and concentrated its efforts on publishing the results of research, issuing since 1925 two series of Proceedings (Literary and Historical and Scientific).

Access Information

These papers have been deposited on the understanding that anyone wishing to make substantial use of them, or to publish substantial extracts, shall first seek permission from the Secretary of the Society

Acquisition Information

Deposited by the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society


In English

Other Finding Aids

Contents listed in Handlist 30

Related Material

For other archival materials relating to the Society, see MSS 236, 237, and Dep. 1976/1. Further archives, so far unlisted, were deposited by the Society in 1999.


A history of the Society, based on a study of its minute books, was written by Edwin Kitson Clark and published in 1924 under the title The History of 100 Years of Life of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society