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Special Collections and Archives

Your guide to unique and rare resources held by the Philip Robinson Library

Newcastle University's Philip Robinson Library holds both published, printed works and archives. The printed works include rare books, newspapers, periodical and pamphlets dating from the early 16th to 20th century. Some of our archives date right up to the present day and range from business, political records and private records of significant individuals, as well as personal letters, diaries, photographs, maps, illustrations, manuscripts and more.

You can browse the University Library's unique and distinctive collections, including keyword or subject, here.

Finding relevant Collections at Newcastle

You can use keywords to search our rare books, archives and digital content using the search tool on our web pages. You’ll also find more information on how to use the tool effectively there.


Collections postcard You can also browse our collections by subject through our Collections Guides. The Collection Guides hold further details of all our collections including Finding Aids which will describe in more detail which files and items are in the collection along with links to related resources where available. 

There’s more general information on how to find relevant primary source material later in this guide



Using the Library's Special Collections

Accessing the collections
If you have found an item of interest on the library catalogue you can order it online and we will retrieve it for you. You can find information on requesting an item from the Library's archive and rare book collections here

Digitisation Service
Special Collections also offer a Digitisation Service for rare book and archive holdings wherever possible.

You can find information on copyright, permission, acknowledgements and data protection when using the Library’s Special Collections here.

Recent Articles about Special Collections


Help and advice

If you would like any help and advice on using Special Collections and Archives or you would like to book an appointment with one of the Special Collections team, please use our contact details below:

   Reading Room, Level 1, Philip Robinson Library

  +44 191 208 7712

  Email the Special Collections Team

Things you need to know when visiting us.