What sort of archives do we have?

We have archives of all types from a huge range of sources which occupy about 14km of shelving at our base in Blandford House, Newcastle. The kinds of things we have include:

  • local authority records such as minutes, building plans, school records hospital records
  • records of magistrates and other courts
  • business records of all types, but especially those of important local industries like shipbuilding, engineering and coal mining, including photographs, plans and other material
  • church and chapel records including registers of baptisms, marriages and burials
  • records of local organisations, both great and small
  • private papers of individuals and families, from every walk of life, not just the rich or important.

For more information on the types of record we collect, see our Collection Policy [37k PDF].

Moving image (e.g. film and video) collections relating to the North East are administered by the North East Film Archive (NEFA). Some of their films can be viewed in the BFI Mediatheque which is adjacent to the Archives searchroom.

How to access the collections

First, check our user guides and search the online catalogue to see what we have that might be useful for your research. If you still aren't sure, or have a more specialist enquiry, you can email us.

You will normally need to visit us to view the original records. If this isn't practical, our research service may be able to help. If you just want copies of specific items, it may be easier to order copies by post or email.

So far, very few copies of our records are available online. Some images are included in the online catalogue (see, for example, ship plans and photographs DS.VA/2, DS.VA/3). You can also check out our ever-growing selection of images on Flickr.