fonds LEAF - Mabel Leaf Archive

Identity area

Reference code



Mabel Leaf Archive


  • 1893-1921 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.42 cubic metres

5 boxes, 6 rolls, and 6 wrapped items

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Mabel Leaf was born in York in 1872, the daughter of Matthew Leaf, a clerk and later assistant manager of the Gas Works, and his wife Alice.

A talented artist, Leaf produced many paintings of stained glass in York churches between 1906 and 1922, including Holy Trinity Goodramgate, All Saints North Street, and York Minster, as well as stained glass designs and topographical watercolours.

In 1908 her work was reproduced in Reverend P. J. Shaw’s edited work ‘An Old York Church, All Hallows in North Street: Its medieval stained glass and architecture depicted by Mabel Leaf and E. Ridsdale Tate.’

Her work was also exhibited in the Merchant's Hall, York, in September 1922, as well as posthumously in the USA in the 1930s.

Mabel Leaf died at York on 2 August 1927, aged 55.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute in 1960 by the York Diocesan Registry. A further addition was made to the archive in 2013.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Illustrations of stained glass at York churches, including Holy Trinity Goodramgate, All Saints North Street, St Martin cum Gregory, and York Minster, c.1906-c.1922; sketch books, paintings and drawings of topographical scenes, churches and other buildings in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Switzerland, c.1906-c.1922; correspondence between the Leaf family and the Diocesan Registry and Borthwick Institute for Archives concerning the location of Mabel Leaf’s cartoons of medieval stained glass, 1962-1982.


Further accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

The archive has not yet been catalogued. A partial box list is available, please contact the Borthwick Institute for further information.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

An original watercolour of York, All Saints Pavement, by Mabel Leaf, with related papers concerning its identification, can be found in the corresponding parish records.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created by S. A. Shearn, 03.07.15




Accession area