The school archive

The archives at GSAL contain documents, photographs, artefacts and audio-visual material relating to the history of the school. The Grammar School at Leeds was formed in 2008 out of the physical merger of Leeds Grammar School and Leeds Girls’ High School. The school archives contain material relating to the history of the three schools. Leeds Grammar School was officially founded in 1552, although its history can be traced back as far as 1341, while Leeds Girls’ High School had its foundation in 1876. The oldest item relating to the history of the school goes back to the early 17th Century.

The photographs, admissions registers, text and scrap books, uniform, a complete collection of both the Leodiensian (the school magazine of Leeds Grammar School) and the Leeds Girls’ High School Magazine, drama and music programmes, all contribute to demonstrating first-hand the history of the three schools. We continue to add to the archive with material from the life of the school as it happens, so we also have more recent material in the archive.

The school archives also hold something in the region of 400 antiquarian books including 3 pre-15th century items; 60 from the 16th century and 120 dating from the 17th century. Many of these were from the original Lawson Library of 1621, which was the first library in the city of Leeds. Some of them were gifts from Lawson himself, Sir Ralph Thoresby and also Rev. Joseph Hill.

The school archives are also used to support teaching at The Grammar School at Leeds and other projects, for example John Davies has recently completed a book describing the impact of the Great War on Leeds Grammar and Leeds Girls’ High School.  John’s book ‘A High Ideal’ can be ordered from school, please down load the order form here: Order form for A High Ideal

Accessing the school archive

The school archives contain a rich variety of material relating to the history of the schools, which will interest researchers, including genealogists and family historians. We are happy to take enquiries from researchers via email (alumni@gsal.org.uk), post or phone, and will do our best to respond with any information we are able to supply. However, the school receives a large number of enquiries, so please bear with us as we may not always be able to answer enquiries immediately.

We also welcome researchers who wish to visit the school to consult archive material in person, but they should contact the archivists in advance to arrange a suitable time.

John Davies and Neill Hargreaves
School Archivists

Or, if you prefer to chat with someone please call our admissions team on 0113 229 1552