North East History Resources

North East History Resources

A list of research resources, archives, organisations, societies and libraries associated with the history, heritage and culture of North East England.

Nathaniel Buck's view of Newcastle 1745
Detail from Nathaniel Buck’s view of Newcastle 1745.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Research centres and libraries are currently closed due to lockdowns associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.


England’s North East History Site

Use our North East history map and the accompanying links to find out about the general history of any selected area.

Beamish Learning and Activity Resources

Beamish Museum Learning and Activity Resources. Find out more from the Beamish Museum website.

Tiny Tim, Beamish
Tiny Tim, Beamish. Photo © John Simpson

Newcastle City Libraries

Visit the Newcastle City Libraries Local Studies and Family History website for more details of the extensive available resources.

North East Community Archives and Heritage Groups

Here’s a splendid list of links to Community Archives and Heritage Groups across the North East of England.

The Surtees Society

The Surtees Society is ‘dedicated to the publication of manuscripts illustrative of the history of the ancient kingdom of Northumbria, principally of County Durham and Northumberland in North East England.’

The Lit and Phil Library

The beautiful library of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne established in 1825 in Westgate Road is only a stone’s throw from the Central Station. Past members have included some of the region’s most esteemed industrialists and inventors.

Woodhorn Museum
Woodhorn Museum and Archives. Photo © David Simpson 2018

Northumberland Archives

Based at Woodhorn and at Berwick upon Tweed. Details at the Northumberland Archives website including a link to the Northumberland Archives online catalogue.

Durham County Record Office.

Details of the extensive resources are available through the Durham County Record Office website. Archive service covering County Durham and the Borough of Darlington.

Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums

Find out more about the Tyne and Wear archives, publications and special projects. Also see the home page of Tyne and Wear Museums ‘TWAM’. Venues are: The Discovery Museum; Great North Museum; Hatton Gallery; Laing Gallery (all Newcastle); Segedunum Roman Fort, Wallsend; Arbeia Roman Fort, South Shields; South Shields Museum & Art Gallery; Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead and The Stephenson Steam Railway, North Tyneside.

Teesside Archives

A link to the Teesside Archives through the Middlesbrough Borough Council web page.

The National Archives

A link to the National Archives online discovery searchable database of records.

East Durham Heritage Group :

Durham Cathedral viewed from Gilesgate
Durham Cathedral viewed from Gilesgate. Photo: ©  David Simpson


Northumberland and Durham Family History Society

Founded in 1975 and based in Newcastle upon Tyne the society has centres throughout the region. Benefits of membership include free access to certain online records. For more details visit the Northumberland and Durham Family History Society website.

Durham and Northumberland Probate Records

Durham and Northumberland Probate Records 1527-1587. From Durham University Library’s North East Inheritance project.


Durham University Special Collections

Palace Green Library Archives and Special Collections (by appointment) details here. Site includes links to a catalogue of the university’s printed manuscripts and physical collections ( and a catalogue of archives and manuscripts:

Newcastle University Special Collections

An online resource for searching the special collections and archives of Newcastle University here:

Woodhorn Colliery museum
Woodhorn Colliery museum, near Ashington. Photo © David Simpson 2018


Durham Miners’ Museum

Online Durham Mining Museum with enormous collection of details on hundreds of collieries and other mines across historic Durham and Northumberland. Includes detailed lists of collieries with information on colliery ownerships, maps, dates of boring and colliery openings and detailed lists of fatalities associated with each mine.

North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers

Founded in 1852. Details of the benefit of membership can be found on the Mining Institute’s website.

Durham Miners’ Union

The official site of the Durham Miners’ Union based at Redhills in the City of Durham.

Redhills, Durham
Redhills, Durham, © David Simpson 2004

North East Labour History

The North East Labour History Society, founded in 1967, is Britain’s oldest regional labour history society.


Durham Light Infantry

A link to the Durham Light Infantry records at Durham Records Office. Records transferred from the former Durham Light Infantry Museum.

Northumberland Fusiliers

Online research and information resource for the county regiment first raised in 1674. Northumberland Fusiliers Museum web link.

Tyneside Irish Brigade Association

The website of the Tyneside Irish Brigade Association


North East Books

See our extensive list of North East books featuring the history and topography of North East England.

North East books
North East books


NLS Ordnance Survey Maps

National Library of Scotland side-by-side comparisons of modern and historic maps covering all Britain.

Alan Godfrey Maps

Online shop for The Godfrey Edition Maps. Inexpensive reprints of historic Ordnance Survey maps. Based in the North East, Alan Godfrey publishes historic maps covering the length and breadth of Britain.

Tangled Worm Map Prints

Online shop Tangled Worm Northern heritage maps: Viking Northumbria, North East Collieries, Border Reivers, Worm Legends, Roman North etc.

Tangled Worm maps


Keys to the Past

The Keys to the Past website has an extensive database of archaeological sites across Northumberland and Durham coupled with concise local histories of localities across the two counties.


Northumbrian Language Society

The Northumbrian Language Society publishes, promotes, preserves and researches on the dialects of Northumberland, Tyneside and North West Durham.


Part of Sage Gateshead, Folkworks was established in 1988 to promote the folk music of the North East with a programme of workshops, gigs and festivals.

Sage Gateshead
Sage Gateshead. Photo © David Simpson 2018

North East Blogs

England’s North East history blogs history blogs

Border Reiver history and armour blog by Brian Moffat

Further Links

North East History Map 

Books about North East England

General History Links

Ancient Monuments Society:

Association for Industrial Archaeology:

British Association for Local History:

British History site (BBC):

English Heritage:

English Place Name Society :

Guild of One Name Studies :

Institute of Historical Studies :

Island name origins in Orkney :

Jorvik Viking Centre (York) :

Bootham Bar and York Minster
Bootham Bar and York Minster from an old postcard

National Trust :

Place Names Dale, Holm etc :

Place names in the Danelaw :

Place names of Viking origin in England :

Place names of Viking origin in Normandy :

Regia Anglorum :

Rheged Visitor Centre :

Vikings in Normandy and Yorkshire :

Further Links

North East History Map 

Books about North East England

North East England History and Culture