Wednesday, 12 September 2012

German language collection

In 1778, a new subscription library was founded in Leeds. Unlike the Leeds Library, founded 10 years before, this one would be devoted to books in four modern European languages - French, German, Italian and Spanish. Members of the 'Leeds Foreign Library' paid a capital sum to join and an annual subscription - as did those joining the 'English library. Other similarities were the overlap in membership (though members of the 'Foreign Library' were never as numerous), shared premises and a shared librarian. Eventually, in 1811, three years after the library's removal to its present premises in Commercial Street, the two libraries were merged with the proviso that purchasing of foreign language material would continue - as it did in reasonable numbers until the 1930s though with some acquisition of antiquarian as well as new publication.
In 1998, the following article was written by Geoffrey Forster for the Handbuch der historischen Buchbest√§nde in Deutschland, Osterreich und Europa (Fabian-Handbuch) describing the German part of the collection: Fabian handbuch: the Leeds Library.

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