Local studies and family history

Local studies and family history

Level 6 of the City Library, which houses the Local Studies Collections is open for enquiries, study space, PC access and browsing.

If you require an item from the Special Collections,  you must contact us in advance (at least 5 working days) to arrange a viewing. To do so:

We can conduct limited, free research from the Local Collections, on your behalf.  

Please complete this form and indicate which of the limited research areas you require us to undertake. 

We’re unable to undertake in-depth research. 

  • We’re unable to undertake in-depth Family History Research, we can check for specific dates I.e., Death Notice in a Local Newspaper but an exact date or 2-week time frame must be given.  This applies to any of our resource's, dates must be provided. 

  • Dates must be provided for any check of our resources, I.e., Electoral Rolls, Newspapers, Parish Registers. 

  • We’re unable to check the GRO Indexes (Births, Marriages and Deaths), unless the life event is after 2005. Pre 2005 is available on Ancestry and Find My Past 

  • We’re unable to check the Census, this is available online. 

We will aim to reply within 5 working days, however at times of high demand this response time may vary. 

About Local Studies

We have great resources for local studies and family history, the largest collection of local and family history material in the North East. And we collect current local material.  Everyone is welcome to visit us and look at any of the collection but, as many items are rare or irreplaceable, some of the collection is not on public display.  To see anything, just make your selection from our catalogues or ask a member of staff.

Historical Maps

Some of our historic maps of Newcastle have been digitised and can be found on our Flickr Collection 

Researching your family history in Newcastle

If you are interested in tracing your family history, we have lots of resources that will help you. 

Monumental Inscriptions for Northumberland and Durham Parish Register Transcripts and Indexes Electoral Registers and Poll Books for Newcastle Census Returns for Newcastle 1841 - 1901


You may also find useful information at the Archive services for Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.

We also have useful guides about Newcastle and researching your family history.

Local Maps History of Newcastle Robert Burns: his connections to Newcastle and the North East River Tyne Crossings and Newcastle Bridges Town Moor Hoppings Origins of the name Geordie Notable dates connected with Newcastle during World War II Tracing your Ancestors in the North East Tracing your Wartime Ancestors Tracing Criminal Ancestors

General Register Office Indexes

City Library holds the most recent General Register Office Indexes, an essential tool for family history research.  The indexes cover all civilly registered life events from 1837, such as births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships.  We also have the adoption index and overseas life events.  The indexes are in fiche format and can be viewed on level 6 of the City Library, find out what you can view in person.  For further information about the indexes and how to apply for certificates please visit the General Register Office.  Certificates for births, deaths or marriages which happened in Newcastle upon Tyne can be ordered online from the Registrars Office at the Civic Centre.

The Photographic collection

The Local Studies photographic collection consists of over 80,000 photographs, prints and postcards representing the social, recreational and working lives of the region, from the birth of photography in the 1850's to the present day.  They can be viewed on level 6 of the City Library.  Digital copying of the images is not permitted, however a photocopy may be taken.

View archive images online

Over 7,000 historic photographs of Newcastle and the surrounding areas from our collection, are online on Flickr. The images include nearly one thousand images from our Torday Collection.  Laszlo Torday was a photographer who arrived in Tynemouth in January 1940 from Hungary and took most of his photographs of Tyneside during the 1960's and 1970's.  They reflect his interest in the streets and people of Newcastle especially of central Newcastle and the suburbs of Heaton and Jesmond.

Ordering a Photograph 

You can request a copy of a photograph in our collection, they can be provided in either digital or hard copy formats.  Find details of our charges. 

Ordering and pre-payment can be made at the City Library on level 6, payment can be made by cash, cheque or card, alternatively contact us with any queries:

West Newcastle Picture History Collection

The collection at West End Library contains over 20,000 photographs and documents relating to the history and heritage of West Newcastle from the 19th Century to the present day.  The collection covers Arthurs Hill, Benwell, Elswick, Fenham & Scotswood, but also includes items relating to Denton Burn, Kenton, Lemington, Newburn, North Walbottle, Throckley & Westerhope.

Copies of images from the collection are available to purchase as photocopies or as prints.

You can now find out more about the WNPHC and see some of their collection, by accessing their Website.

For further information or specific requests contact:

The Secretary

West Newcastle Picture History Collection

127 Picktree Lodge

Chester le Street

Co Durham

DH3 4DQ 

Email: wnphc@yahoo.co.uk

Please note that the collection is open to visitors on Monday's 10am - 4pm and at other times by prior arrangement with WNPHC.

North East Heritage Group

This site links you to the local history collections of Public Libraries and Archives in the North East of England.

Heritage and local history is about our culture, our social history, our economy and our environment. The importance of archive collections cannot be overestimated and many of the records are vital to an understanding of a community’s cultural history and heritage. Heritage and local history collections are accessible to present and future generations, bestowing a sense of identity and pride.

Lahav Jewish Heritage Project

Jewish Heritage Project

Celebrating the history of the Jewish Community in North East England in memory of Ron and Kath Lahav.

Newcastle Libraries and Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums are collaborating on a joint project. To collect, preserve and celebrate the history of the Jewish community in North East England. Our vision is to preserve and celebrate the history of the Jewish Community - how its members came to the North East and the important contributions that they have made to regional life.

For more information on how you can help preserve your Community’s heritage. Contact info@discoverymuseum.org.uk

Jewish Life on Tyneside 

An exhibition at City Library, about the History of the Jewish community in Newcastle and the many ways the community have contributed to life in our City.  The exhibition sadly had to close due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  We have been unable to reopen the exhibition but we've been able to create a film of the exhibition, providing a lasting record for the local collection.  


Lahav Jewish Collection

As part of the Lahav project we are creating a Jewish book collection at the City Library, this will include items from our Local Studies collections, about the history of the North East Jewish Community.  The collection will also include books about the national and international Jewish Communities.  There are books to borrow and items to view at the City Library. A book list of items is available.  We now have an eBooks Lahav Jewish Heritage Collection.

Visitor Information

To find out about visiting our great City, please go to the NewcastleGateshead website where you can find information about staying in the area and what's on.

Is this page useful?
Is this page useful?