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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 is home to Special Collections & Archives, which 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 Newcastle University Special Collections & Archives' distinctive collections, including keyword or subject by browsing the Collection Guides.

Finding relevant collections

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.





Using relevant material

Accessing archive and rare book collections
Once you have browsed the collection guides and/or Library Search and you would like to request an item from Special Collections, there are several ways to do this. You can find information on requesting an item from the Library's archive and rare book collections by visiting the Requesting Items page.

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 & Archives.

Viewing relevant material

You can request to consult or engage with items from our collections in a number of ways to suit your needs. Find out more about each type of request using the links below:

  1. Visit us in person – consult items from our archives in our Reading Room, located on Level 1 of the Philip Robinson Library
  2. Virtual reading room service – see items via Zoom, at a mutually convenient time
  3. Digitisation service – request digital images of items for remote viewing
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