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Archives and Special Collections: Using our collections



Our collections contain material of immense cultural value to communities in the north east, the United Kingdom and the world. These treasures are your heritage, telling stories of our shared past that can be inspiring and challenging, and challenged too. We curate them for you and for future generations, making them freely accessible to all. Whether you’re an academic researcher or if you want to find out more about your local area or your family’s history, we’re here to help you make the most of what we have, so please get in touch if you need to. 

Make a start by searching our online catalogues to find what interests you. You are very welcome to make an enquiry.

From illuminated manuscripts to digital files we must look after all of our collections carefully so that they are still there for researchers long into the future. You will therefore be asked to register when you first visit us, and then to follow rules when handling items.

Please explore our online guides which contain a wealth of information about our collections and how you may access them. If you have further questions, our knowledgeable staff will be pleased to hear from you and offer their help.