Special Collections and Archives are unique and rare resources held by Newcastle University's Philip Robinson Library.
We hold 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 individualks, as well as personal letters, diaries, photographs, maps, illustrations, manuscripts and more.
Due to their rarity and their sometimes fragile condition, these items are not on the normal library shelves, but they are available to everyone to view upon request in the Special Collections Reading Room (Level 1, Philip Robinson Library), open 9.30am - 4.30 pm, Monday-Friday
You can find and browse our collections online in various ways...
All of our rare books and archive collections are on the library catalogue. Archives are a little different. Archives can be business records, a person's research papers or notes, diaries, letters, photographs... so when you search for a topic the library catalogue will match your topic with whole archive collections rather than any individual files within the collection.
Our 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.
Come and ask us. The Special Collections Reading Room is on Level 1 of the Robinson Library and is open Monday to Friday 9.30 - 4.30. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If I have found an item of interest on the library catalogue, how do I order it?
If you have found a book or an archive item which you would like to request, you will need to use the ‘Request’ Link to link to our Special Collections Request form. Then simply complete the details required, submit your order, and we will retreive the item for you. You'll get an email alert as soon as it is available for you.
Special Collections staff can advise you as to whether an item has copyright restrictions. However, most of our items can be copied or digitised for your own private study. Due to their fragility you will need to ask us to do this for you, by completing a Digitisation and Copy Request Form (follow the link below to our web pages). You can also simply take your own photographs using a digital camera or phone when viewing items in the reading room.
Click on the link below to find out more about our Copy and Re-Use Service.
Here in Newcastle we are very lucky to be close to lots of archives and special collection libraries which are open to the general public. As with Newcastle University Special Collections, what you will find from these websites are general collection or book descriptions and other 'finding aids' to help you see what is in a collection. You will then need to request items you are interested in and make an appointment to view them in their own reading rooms.
Local Authority Archives
Other University Special Collections
Private and Family Archives
To locate archives beyond the Newcastle region
To locate rare books beyond the Newcastle region
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:
Contact the Special Collections Team
T: 0191 2087712 E: email@example.com