The Society's seal and three photographs

Our archives

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

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The Society's Archive Collection

Since the Society's foundation in 1813 members have donated and bequeathed historic documents, research notes, drawings, maps, plans and photographs to the Society. These manuscript collections are an invaluable source for the history of the North East and contain records of national and international significance.

The majority of the archives are on loan to the Northumberland Archives Service at Woodhorn, Northumberland, and are included in their electronic catalogue under the overall reference SANT, covering nearly 60,000 entries. Most can be consulted there in the public search room, and some have been digitised so that they can be consulted on the Internet.  However some of our records, for example modern administrative papers, have restricted access and written permission from the Executive Committee is needed to consult them.

On occasion we loan items for particular events, or give permission for their reproduction. Please contact the Keeper of Collections for information if you would like to pursue this point. Our annual reports give details of the use made of the collections each year.

Transcribing our archives

Two of our more interesting possessions, the 1771 Tyne Flood Papers and the 1780-84 Poll Book, are now on our website, and have been transcribed and indexed by volunteers, in a joint venture between the Explore Lifelong Learning programme in Newcastle and the Antiquaries. A further project, Unlocking the Archives, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, was completed in 2017-18, followed by another one on a seventeenth- and eighteenth-century book of medical and cookery receipts, compiled by Edward Potter..

Please note; copyright in images and transcriptions remains with the Society of Antiquaries in Newcastle upon Tyne

 Acknowledgements and thanks

The digitised copy of the Flood Papers was made by Dr Ria Snowdon for Professor Helen Berry of Newcastle University, and put onto the Antiquaries’ website after a lecture by Professor Berry in February 2015. The Poll Book was one of the exhibits in the Society's bicentennial exhibition in 2013, and the digitisation was funded as part of this, under the Heritage Lottery Fund's overall grant towards our Bicentenary events. A further grant was made available in 2017-18 towards the Unlocking the Archives project.

Technical work on the website databases, and much handholding during the process of uploading the material, was done by our webmasters Cornwell Internet. Transcription was done by volunteers, with co-ordination, editorial work and research by Sue Ward.

Our thanks to all of them.


In the future, don’t forget your past