School of History, Classics and Archaeology



Museums & Archives

At Newcastle you'll have access to a range of museums and archives.

Great North Museum: Hancock

Visitors to the Great North Museum: Hancock can see evidence of the lives of people from the earliest prehistory to the Medieval period and learn about known individuals who lived in the area.

The latest technology and an impressive library provide visitors with the opportunity to develop their interests and explore the region with fresh eyes.

The museum houses the collections that previously made up:

  • the Hancock Museum
  • the Shefton Museum of Greek Art and Archaeology
  • the Museum of Antiquities

It's also home to the Natural History Society of Northumbria collection, which includes fine Egyptian and ethnographic collections as well as material relating to the geology, flora and fauna of the region.

The Shefton Museum collection, which covers the classical Mediterranean and is famous for its range of artefacts housed here including:

  • Etruscan
  • Ancient Greek
  • Roman Imperial

It contains particularly important collections of Classical Greek pottery and armour.

The Great North Museum Resource Centre

The Great North Museum Resource Centre, located at the Discovery Museum, houses the reserve natural science and archaeology collections.

These comprise more than half a million items as well as the extensive archives, which were previously in the Museum of Antiquities.

These include the Hadrian’s Wall Photographic Archive, the Aerial Photographic Archive and a range of archaeological site archives from across the North East of England.

The Gertrude Bell Archive

The Gertrude Bell Archive consists of about 1,600 detailed and lively letters to her parents, her 16 diaries, which she kept while she was travelling, and of c.40 packets of miscellaneous items. There are also about 7,000 photographs, taken by her c.1900-1918.

Those of Middle Eastern archaeological sites are of great value as they record structures which have since been eroded or, in some cases, have disappeared altogether. Those of the desert tribes are of considerable anthropological and ethnographical interest.

front of GNM
Great North Museum: Hancock


Our students have access to a range of outstanding library facilities, both on campus and around the city of Newcastle.

The Philip Robinson Library 

The Philip Robinson Library is the University's main library and is within five minutes' walking distance of the School. The library has more than 1,500 study spaces, including areas for group discussion and silent research.

The library provides access to:

  • 360 computers connected to the campus network
  • 1,000,000 print books
  • the largest collection of ebooks in the country
  • 14,000 journals
  • specialist online resources, including newspapers from 1600 to the present day
  • research databases such as Historical Abstracts, Electronic Enlightenment and Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice

The library also houses more than 100 special collections of material, ranging from rare books and archives to woodblocks and illustrations. These span from the mid-15th century to the 21st century. There is also a special Shefton Collection of books in Greek, Roman and Etruscan archaeology.

The library is open seven days a week, with 24-hour opening during exam periods.

For an overview of:

  • the library's resources for history, classics and archaeology
  • information about access to libraries and resources elsewhere
  • advice on getting the best out of the library
  • regularly updated news

visit our library subject guide. To see the library and its facilities, you can also take a virtual tour.

The Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms

The Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms is the newest addition to the University Library. Situated a short walk away from the Philip Robinson Library, the Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms is a truly digital library offering space to study, think, learn, collaborate and consult.

Cowen Library

The School's Cowen Library contains books and journals on archaeology and ancient history. Housing more than 50,000 volumes, it forms a unique resource for research. 

John Cowen donated his library to the university in 1976. The collection has grown considerably since then, with particular strengths in areas including:

  • Roman frontiers
  • late Roman and Byzantine studies
  • the archaeology of North East England

The Cowen Library is housed along with the Society of Antiquities of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Natural History Society of Northumbria library in the new Great North Museum: Hancock Library

Other libraries

As a student of Newcastle, you may also consult books and periodicals in the libraries of the Universities of Durham and Northumbria, but you cannot borrow any item.

You could also join Newcastle City Library and the Literary and Philosophical Society library.

The Philip Robinson Library


We provide excellent computing facilities for all of our students and deliver expert support to help you use them.

Each student has a personal university e-mail address and free access to the internet. There are computer clusters around the campus. Two of the largest are in The Old Library and The Philip Robinson Library.

Computing facilities include:

  • more than 1,400 fully networked PCs in 44 clusters
  • hundreds of computers owned by academic schools
  • fast campus network and internet connections
  • an extensive range of software including word processing, statistical and database packages
  • central filestore and print services
  • a Unix service with several powerful central systems via Linux workstations

Cluster rooms across campus are open each weekday. There's also one in both Henderson Hall and Castle Leazes halls of residence. Some cluster rooms are also open for extended hours and at weekends (some are open 24 hours).

You can connect to the University's network using your own computer or mobile device. The University app is available from iPhone, Android and WindowsPhone 8 app stores.

Our postgraduates have unique access to first-class computing facilities in our new dedicated postgraduate computer room. They are also able to borrow laptops for research trips.

3D Printing

Wolfson Archaeology Laboratory

The Wolfson Archaeology Laboratory is a research and teaching laboratory attached to the School of History, Classics and Archaeology.

The Wolfson Archaeology Laboratory is centrally located in the King George VI building, room 2.60 and can be booked through the University booking system.

The Wolfson Archaeology Laboratory hosts permanent research and teaching collections from various sites in the British Isles including:

  • animal bones
  • thin section and microfossil slides
  • Roman pottery
  • post-Medieval metalwork and ceramics

The laboratory is centrally located in the King George VI building, Room 2.60 and can be booked through the University booking system.