Sopwith (Thomas) Diaries

Subject strengths: Social History, Travel

The diaries of Thomas Sopwith (1803-1879), mining engineer, land surveyor and philanthropist in the north-east of England, cover the period 1828-1879. We hold both the original diaries, and a copy of the material held on 16 reels of microfilm. They form a meticulous account of the professional life of Sopwith, detailing his work, projects and his travels both for business and for enjoyment. The diaries also include sketches and illustrations of people, views, and buildings and often include descriptions of lectures and conversations with people Sopwith met on his travels.

A particularly notable aspect of the diaries is Sopwith's descriptions of journeys he made by rail, often along newly-opened railway lines in a period where rail travel was in its early stages.

Collection Name and Collection Reference Code:

Collection Name: Sopwith (Thomas) Diaries

Archive Ref Code: GB186/TS

Date Range of Material

1825 - 1879

Type of Material

Diaries of Thomas Sopwith

Size of Collection

4 Linear Metres of shelving 

How To Order Items From This Collection

Please use the finding aid below to search through a list of the individual items we have within this collection.

If you find an item you would like to consult in the Special Collections reading room, simply make a note of the reference number and title of the item(s) you are interested in (for example GB186/TS: Diary dated 1830).

You can then place your order by linking to our Request Form

Finding Aid

A collection level description for the Sopwith Diaries is available via Archives Hub

Scanning and Photocopy Service

If you are unable to visit our reading room, we also have a scanning and photocopying service.