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New resource offers unique insight into life and death in Leeds

Visualisations of the Leeds General Cemetery Burial Registers Index

A mine of information for genealogists has been made available online by the University of Leeds Library Special Collections. The burial registers of Leeds General Cemetery are now available for students and the public to access and use for research.

Containing entries relating to the 97,146 people buried at the cemetery, the 25 registers have been transcribed, digitised and made available through the Leeds General Cemetery Burial Registers Index:
https://library.leeds.ac.uk/special-collections-explore/Leeds%20General%20Cemetery%20Burial%20Registers%20Index

The registers record information such as name, age, gender, date of death and burial, cause of death, occupation, and parents’ details. It is possible to browse a full list of all the recorded causes of death and occupations and view charts of key statistics from the data.

Leeds General Cemetery opened in 1835 as a public burial ground. The University of Leeds acquired the company in 1956 and the final burial took place there in 1969, although ashes continued to be scattered there until 1992. Today the site is a public park, its name reverted to the original – St George’s Fields.

The digitisation and transcription project was undertaken as part of the Medical Collections Project, launched in November 2015. The project’s aim is to make medical-related collections more widely accessible, to encourage use, and inspire new research by creating online catalogues and digitising selected items. This includes improving the long-term preservation of this material by undertaking repackaging and conservation treatments where appropriate. The project is funded by a Wellcome Trust Research Resources Award, and runs until May 2018.

The University Library’s Special Collections hold the extensive records of the Leeds General Cemetery Company Ltd. Mainly consisting of business and administrative papers alongside the burial registers, the archive covers the lifetime of the company, with records dating from 1733 to 1992. A new catalogue for the Leeds General Cemetery Company Ltd Archive is also now available.

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