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Our specialist natural history library in the Great North Museum: Hancock holds a collection of over 12,000 volumes of books and journals. You can search our library catalogue or make a visit.

About the search function

The search function allows you to search our book catalogue to find books by author, date or by a word included in the title of the book. Due to the size of the catalogue it is far quicker to focus your search in this way than it is to browse, but if you would like to browse the full catalogue just leave the search box empty and click ‘search’.

Our Journal Collection

In addition to our books we also have hundreds of journals and periodicals in our library.

Click here to download our journal catalogue which lists journals in alphabetical order. We subscribe to specialists journals such as The Entomologist and Journal of Animal Ecology, more popular magazines such as Birding World and British Wildlife and we also have a collection of historic journals dating back to the 1800s.

Visiting the library

Our modern and friendly library is located on the 2nd floor of the Great North Museum: Hancock, in central Newcastle upon Tyne. It is open to the public and is the perfect place to carry out your research, or just browse books or read a magazine. Public wi-fi is available and Society members can borrow up to 4 books at a time.

Opening hours Monday to Friday:

  • Up to 16 Dec 10.00 – 16.00
  • 19 Dec to 22 Dec 13.00 – 16.00
  • 23 Dec to 2 Jan Closed for Festive Period
  • 3 Jan to 6 Jan 13.00 – 16.00
  • 9 Jan to Easter 10.00 – 16.00

Opening hours Saturdays:

  • 3 Dec 11.00 – 15.00
  • 7 Jan 11.00 – 15.00
  • 4 Feb 11.00-15.00

Our collection of books and journals has been acquired through donations and purchases since the Society’s foundation in 1829, and it is now the best natural history library in northern England, it includes:

  • The latest field guides for birds, plants, mammals and insects from around the world.
  • Regional, national and international journals and books about ecology, zoology, botany, ornithology, entomology, geology and conservation.
  • Antique and historically valuable books.
  • Biographies of regional naturalists and the history of natural history.
  • General natural history books, with an emphasis on the North East.
  • Books for children.

GNMH Library Feb2015 (3)Our older books and journals are not on display but are available to view and can be seen by making an appointment with the librarian.

The library also houses the collections of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne and Newcastle University’s Cowen Library: you are welcome to consult books from all three collections.

You can find out more about our library and collections by clicking on the links below.

For all library enquiries please contact 0191 208 6189 or