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Asa BriggsA presentation of books about the late Professor Asa Briggs has been made to Keighley Local Studies Library by the Historical Association. 

The books were presented by Professor Tony Badger, President of the Historical Association, to Maggie Pedley, Head of Libraries, Museums and Galleries on Wednesday 29 November. 

Also present at the event were Dr Trevor James, Editor of ‘The Historian’ journal and historian, Philip Johnston.

Asa Briggs was one of Keighley’s foremost citizens. He became a well-known and remarkable historian who inspired others through his research, teaching and writing.

Asa was born in Emily Street in Keighley in 1921. His father was an engineer in a local mill. He was educated at Keighley Boys Grammar School before going on to study at Cambridge.

From 1942 to 1945 during the Second World War, Briggs served in the Intelligence Corps and worked at the British wartime codebreaking station, Bletchley Park. He was a member of "the Watch" in Hut 6, the section deciphering Enigma machine messages from the German Army and Luftwaffe.
After the war, he followed an academic career at Worcester College Oxford, Leeds and Sussex Universities.

Throughout his life he remained a staunch Yorkshireman. He was created life Peer as Baron Briggs in 1976. In 1987 he was President of the Bronte Society. He died in March 2016 aged 94.

At Keighley Library, the young Asa developed his skills to become such an influential social historian.

In his book ‘Special Relationships’ he traces his love of history back to his days in Keighley. He said of Keighley Library ‘It was there that I first studied the politics that I was to introduce into my own version of social history.’

It is fitting that these books will be added to the archives and made available for the benefit of future researchers and historians.

There is a display of books and local information about Asa Briggs in the Local Studies library on the first floor that will remain up over the next 3 weeks.

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