Planning Your Visit

Student in the Reading RoomOur collections are open to everyone to consult in our reading room.

Please note that all items must be ordered in advance. See our step by step guide to requesting an item before planning your visit.


How To Find Us

The Special Collections Reading Room is on Level 1 of the Philip Robinson Library.

Campus Map see point #35 - Philip Robinson Library, Jesmond Road West, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HQ


Opening Times:

The Reading Room is open from 9.30 a.m – 4.30 p.m. Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays.


When You Arrive:

When you arrive you will need to sign in and show either your University ID card or, if you are not a member of the library, another form of photo ID.

There will always be a member of staff on duty to retrieve your item(s) and to help you with any queries you may have.


Document and Book Handling

The materials held in Special Collections can be fragile, of considerable age, and sometimes very rare or even unique. We ask for your help in trying to preserve our collections by taking care when using them.


  • Use only pencil for taking notes
  • Place bags and coats in the reading room lockers
  • Handle items with care and avoid placing spines and bindings under stress.  We will show you how to use book rests and chain weights if you have a particularly fragile item.
  • If you have ordered a whole box of archive documents, please keep loose items in the correct order, and with the right box or packet
  • Where present, re-tie tapes around books after use
  • You are allowed to photograph items but please complete a copyright form to confirm that the photographs are for you own personal research (you can ask for a form from the member of staff on duty in the reading room)
  • If you are not sure about anything please ask, we are always happy to help!

Please do not:

  • Use pens to make notes
  • Lean on the book whilst making notes
  • Place open items face-down, lean on them, or rest anything on them
  • Cut pages which are stuck together