The Leeds City Museum
One of the most enduring contributions the Phil and Lit has made to Leeds was its museum, which still forms a significant part of the City Museum collection today. It included outstanding collections of Roman sculpture, ancient coins, geological and botanical specimens from across the world, and rare animal skeletons, as well unique items like the mummy of Nesyamun and the snarling Bengal tiger, still favourites.
From the opening of Philosophical Hall in 1821 enthusiastic members had tracked down, bought, and donated a huge variety of objects – a celebration of wealth, travel in distant lands, interest in other cultures, and the desire to explore and understand the natural world. The Society’s dedicated curators classified and labelled them, put them on display, and preserved them for future generations. In 1921, a hundred years after its foundation, the Society transferred Philosophical Hall and its entire collection to the Council to provide a public museum for the city. Today the Society continues to provide grants to support the museum service.
Visit the Leeds City Museum website
Featured projects & stories
The Society makes grants both to individuals and to organisations in support of cultural and scientific activities which increase innovation, outreach and diversity in Leeds and its immediate area. It also supports local museums and galleries and publications relating to the city.
Since 1819, the Phil & Lit has been inviting the people of Leeds to hear from knowledgeable and entertaining speakers. Many are leaders in their field of science, arts or current affairs. We also hold an annual Science Fair and organise occasional visits.