Subject Strength: General

18th Century Collection

Covers subjects including the penal system, education and the constitution. Highlights include the famous treatise by the enlightenment thinker John Locke.

19th Century Collection

Broad in subject, including works by R. Browning, A. Tennyson, and C. Dickens. Features first editions of Lewis Carroll's last novel for children, Sylvia and Bruno.

20th Century Collection

Includes significant amount of material relating to World War II, literature by Siegfried Sassoon and local history in the form of H. C. Pawson's Cockle Park Farm.

21st Century Collection

Chiefly books by private presses, in limited print-runs, or with interesting provenance. Includes Q. Bajac's Q. L'Image R�v�l�e: L'Invention De La Photoggraphie.

Clarke (Edwin) General Archive

Cuttings, illustrations, and historic documents collected by Edwin Clarke. Subjects range from Victorian 'freakshow' acts to portraits of Charlotte Bronte.

Clarke (Edwin) Miscellaneous Collection

Largely 20th century material but featuring items dating back to 1655. A collection with a strong bias towards the occult, ritual and folklore.

Friends Collection

Rare books such as Robert Boyle's Tracts (1874) various pamphlets by Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke, Newcastle songsters and other local material.


Comprises books which were produced in the infancy of printing, and specifically before 1500, including the first printed book on architecture.

Manuscript Album

Letters by people of local significance like Thomas Bewick, Richard Grainger, and George Stephenson, as well as household names like A.E. Houseman and Horatio Nelson.

Miscellaneous Manuscripts

Highlights include local history items relating to 19th-century bonds and deeds and to the coal trade as well as a collection of recipes, compiled in the years 1684-5.


Contains English and foreign books printed 1501-1640, including works by John Stow, John Speed, and Torquato Tasso, as well as Robert Burton's The Anatomy Of Melancholy.

Rare Books

Strong in literature and local history, items date from the mid-16th Century to the present day including a German propaganda sheet and herbals by Elizabeth Blackwell.

Sandes Library

A valuable example of the kind of material found in a school library of the 17th to 19th Centuries, and includes some notable examples of early printing and binding.