The Porton Collection is one of the largest and most regionally significant collections of Jewish literature in the UK. The foundation of the collection is the library of Rabbi Moses Abrahams, which was left to the United Hebrew Congregation in Leeds after his death. In 1938 the community presented the collection to Leeds City Library, after which it was housed in the Sheepscar Branch Library. The collection is named after Joseph Porton (187?-1958), a Leeds printer and stationer who paid for the furniture and fitting-out of the room at Sheepscar.

In 1965 the collection was moved to Leeds Central Library, and at the same time part of Joseph Porton’s own library was given to the collection by his son Leslie. The City Library has continued to make further additions. The Porton Collection was deposited with the University Library in 2016.

The collection covers all aspects of the religion and culture of the Jewish people, including theology, history, biography, art, travel and society, and includes works in Hebrew, Yiddish and English.

As of June 2017, many of the books have now catalogued and listed on the Leeds University Special Collections website. Should you wish to consult them, the index can be be found by clicking on the link below and then clicking on the yellow tab marked ‘in this collection’

Should you wish to view any of these items, please complete the pre-order online request form prior to your visit and it will be made available to you for consultation in the Special Collections reading room.

We would like to thank all those involved in cataloguing and indexing the collection for their efforts.