The Society's seal and three photographs

Library and Collections

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Our latest news bulletin is issue 76, dated December 2023.

Photo Archive

Scanned images from our photo archive

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From the first days of the Society's existence, it has collected books, objects, coins, music and manuscripts. Our Bicentenary book, 200 Years, explains the history of these various collections, and you can see some of the important items in the Virtual Museum.


We share the Library, on the top floor of the Great North Museum: Hancock, with the Natural History Society of Northumbria and Newcastle University's Cowen Library.We have 30,000 volumes and take 91 learned journals there. Anyone is welcome to visit during opening hours, though only members can take books out from our collection.

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Follow this link to find details of normal opening hours and contact information.


Archaeological Collection

We have an archaeological collection of international importance, covering all periods from the paleolithic to the present day. Much of it is on display in the Great North Museum, but almost every museum of size in the area contains objects on loan from the Society. Find out more...

 Archive collection

St Nicholas ChurchyardOur archives include historic documents, research notes, drawings, maps, plans and photographs. The majority are on loan to the Northumberland Archives Service at Woodhorn, Northumberland, with nearly 60,000 entries in their electronic catalogue. Follow this link for details of how our archives are catalogued.


We have more than 2,000 Roman coins, mostly found in Britain, and many Early Medieval ones -  especially Northumbrian stycas - as well as later ones. Some of our coins are on display in the galleries of the Great North Museum, including our Prince Henry silver penny.

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Music and Bagpipes

We have a considerable collection of music books and manuscripts, and over 100 complete sets of bagpipes, mostly in the Morpeth Chantry Museum.  FARNE, the Folk Archive Resource North East, features scanned images of tunes and songs from many of the manuscripts.

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In the future, don’t forget your past