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Newcastle University

University Library

Subject support guide

Your subject-specific guide to using library resources.

Library Search

Special Collections and Archives

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

Special Collections and archives banner

There are many different kinds of archives for you to explore, depending on what kind of information you need and you may wish to look further afield for your research.  Here are a few tools to help you find other archives in the North East, around the UK, in Europe and beyond: 

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

Specialist Repositories

Private and Family Archives

Screen shot of the National Archives search page.

To locate archives beyond the Newcastle region, one of the best places to start your search is Discovery.  Hosted by the National Archives you can browse lists of potentially relevant collections held all over the UK.

Archives Hub provides a similarly wide overview, though focuses more on materials from Universities and Research Institutions.  You can also search for materials in archives specific to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

To access these collections you will of course still need to visit the archive repository holding the collection, wherever it is in the UK.  

To locate rare books beyond the Newcastle region

Library Hub Discover Service (formally COPAC and SUNCAT catalogues combined) is where you can search the rare book catalogues specialist research libraries in the UK.  The website will just list the catalogue entry for your book, to access the book you will of course need to visit the library holding it, wherever in the UK it is.  But the website is a great place to start your search and to find out what books are out there.

Like the UK National Archive's Discovery tool, Archives Portal Europe is a one-stop web service to aiming to make European archives as accessible as possible.  

The Archives Portal Europe cooperates with the Europeana Project to make archival material searchable and findable; the Europeana Collections provide access to over 50 million digitised items.

ArchiveGrid includes over 5 million records from over 1,000 different archival institutions worldwide.  It has a particularly strong USA focus, so you may want to check for national archives of other countries of interest to get a full overview of what is available.

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