School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

City Library

The City Library

Newcastle City Library is a vital partner for the School, as both share strong values of promoting books and reading, and talking about books and culture more generally.

We have activities and events in place to foster this relationship:

  • a book forum
  • reading groups
  • archive dialogue days
  • exhibitions

The City Library in Newcastle has been on their current site since the 19th century and has played a key role in the literary landscape of the city.

Reading groups

The monthly book forum is aimed at both book group members and other interested readers. Each meeting consists of a short talk followed by a discussion of the novel.

We encourage people to come along if looking for discussion ideas for a book group or simply for the love of the novel. Past novels in the series include:

  • Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
  • Rebecca du Maurier's Rebecca
  • Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  • Pat Barker's Life Class
  • Kate Mosse's Sepulchre

As part of the First World War centenary, Anne Whitehead is currently funded by the Catherine Cookson Foundation.

She is working on a project, together with Marie Stern-Peltz, to produce a guide for reading groups that will focus on literary representations of the The Great War.

The guide will be available online. It will also provide the basis for reading groups, to be run in conjunction with the City Library from 2014 until 2018.

In 2013 Jennifer Richards took part in the Shared Reading programme organised by City Library. Jennifer and students from the School were trained by The Reader Organisation. 

They then read aloud one-to-one with volunteers from Newcastle-based charities (The Carers Centre and Moving Forward).

She is preparing an exhibition to explore the experience and history of 'shared reading' to be hosted by City Library.


The School is also developing funding applications with the City Library. These focus on the rich and diverse holdings in the City Library's Archives.

We have hosted a dialogue day, highlighting these archives, and are developing ways of embedding these holdings into the postgraduate research training in the School.

The event was organised by Medieval and Early Modern Studies and the Gender Research Group.

Find out more

For more details of the partnership, please contact Dr Stacy Gillis.