The Society's seal and three photographs

Unlocking the Archives

Over the 200+ years of Newcastle Antiquaries' existence, we have accumulated large numbers of documents and archival material. Most of these are lodged with Northumberland Archives at Woodhorn.

We have a commitment to make our material wherever possible, and as explained below, part of this is to digitise and transcribe documents of interest.

Edwarde Potter's Booke of Physicke

Our most recent project has been to digitise and transcribe this manuscript volume, which dates back to 1610. It has not been transcribed before, though it was studied just over a hundred years ago, in 1917; follow this link for the article in our Proceedings which describes it. An earlier antiquary, the Rev John Hodgson, also wrote a piece in the Gentlemen's Magazine in 1835, giving more details; follow this link to see that

The Extras Project

We have recently added to the website the Blair Papers, a set of documents with transcriptions acquired by the Society in November 2019, including the membership certificate of our first Honorary member, Bridget Atkinson. Follow this link for a full listing and explanation of the documents.

In addition, our library of over 30,000 volumes contains a number of books where the authors, or early owners, have added to them with ‘tipped-in’ manuscript pages or illustrations. Some of these are too fragile to be available for public viewing, or only on a very restricted basis. Our librarians have therefore begun a project to digitise the extra pages, and provide transcriptions as necessary. Those that have already been completed are included in this section of the Unlocking website. Follow this link to see more about them.

Unlocking the Archives - the HLF-funded project

In 2017-18 we were given a £6,500 Heritage Lottery Fund grant for Unlocking the Archives, a project digitising, transcribing and disseminating a number of documents at Woodhorn. Follow this link for the dedicated website.

We now have all the images on the website, along with transcriptions made by a team of dedicated volunteers, plus information about the documents, the individuals concerned, and glossaries.

We also ran two free palaeography classes in conjunction with Explore Lifelong Learning and Durham Record Office, to whom much thanks. We funded Time Bandits, a historical re-enactment group, to run workshops in 16 schools in Northumberland and County Durham about the 1771 Flood. News Bulletin 64, (June 2018) gives a full report.


In the future, don’t forget your past