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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.

The Library, Great North Museum: Hancock

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, and more popular magazines such as Birding World and British Wildlife. 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.

Please note that the library will be closed on Saturday 4 May 2019.

2019 Opening hours Monday to Friday (university term-time):

  • Monday 07 January to Friday 29 March- 10.00 – 4.00pm
  • Monday 29 April to Friday 14 June – 10.00 – 4.00pm
  • Monday 23 September to Friday 13 December – 10.00 – 4.00pm

2019 Opening hours Monday to Friday (university holidays):

  • Monday 30 March to Friday 26 April – 1.00 – 4.00pm
  • Monday 17 June to Friday 20 September – 1.00 – 4.00pm
  • Monday 16 December to 04 January (excl. Christmas and New Year) – 1.00 – 4.00pm

Opening hours Saturdays:

  • The Library is open on the first Saturday of each month from 11.00 – 3.00pm

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.

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 3555 or