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Philip Robinson Library

Cowen exhibition poster


The Blaydon Brick: Joseph Cowen

Newcastle University Library’s Special Collections holds pamphlets and books that were formerly owned by Joseph Cowen Jnr. (1829-1900). Furthermore, the Joseph Cowen Collection of the North East Centre for Lifelong Learning was transferred to the University Library and includes material that was also formerly owned by, or relates to, Cowen.

This exhibition draws upon these collections as well as portraits, speeches and cartoons from other collections, to explore Joseph Cowen’s political career (he was M.P. for Newcastle upon Tyne), his support for cultural institutions in the region and the family brickworks which inspired his nickname, ‘the Blaydon Brick’.

Level 2, Philip Robinson Library, Newcastle University

6th December 2017 – March 2018







Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms

Image of the WWI Military Hospital at Newcastle University

A University at War, 1914 – 1918

Over the last two years, a team of volunteers have been using the material in Newcastle University Libraries’ Special Collections, to slowly piece together the story of the University during the First World War.

This exhibition is a particularly personal reflection of a University coming to terms with the reality of war. Using extracts from the University’s archive of College magazines, these articles, drawings, poems and obituaries are the personal responses of young men and women who found themselves in a situation they could not have imagined as they prepared for their university studies.

Ground Floor, Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms, Newcastle University

1st November 2017 - 1st April 2018




Previous Exhibitions

Electronic versions of previous exhibitions are also available:


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We appreciate feedback from visitors to our Special Collections exhibitions both on level 2 of the Philip Robinson Library and ground floor of the Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms. Your opinions, comments and suggestions are important and will help with the planning and development of future exhibitions.

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