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Gateshead Archive

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About us

Gateshead Archive is the place to discover local and family history.

The Archive is free and open to anyone to use. Our friendly staff are ready to help you get started with your family and local history journey. Gateshead Archive is possible with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Gateshead Archive online
Historic maps
Images of Gateshead
Local history events
Community projects
Family history records
Research services


You can find the Archive in Central Library.

Visit the Archive to use our collections without an appointment. If you know which material you want, please get in touch and we will have material ready for you when you arrive. You can telephone us on 0191 433 8430 or email at

Gateshead Archive online

We run online talks and short courses about the history of Gateshead and the North East region. Find out more at .


We have over 10,000 rare and unique volumes on Gateshead and North East social and industrial history. As well as books, the collection includes cuttings, directories, minute books and periodicals.

Items date from the 1600s to the present, including the oldest surviving book from Gateshead, printed in 1654.

How to access our book collection

Open access collection

Many of our books are available to browse in our reading room. You do not need to be a member but will currently need to make an appointment to use material.

Search our catalogue to find Gateshead Archive books.

Secure books

We hold rare and valuable books in secure areas of the reading room and basement stacks. The book catalogue identifies these as Gateshead Archive 'Stack' or 'Secure'.

To view these items you must register for a Gateshead Libraries ticket. Registering for free in any Council library or online at

Without a ticket you must provide official proof of identity validating your name and permanent address.

Examples of documents that contain the details required include:

  • driving licence (name, address and signature)

  • bank statement, letter or bill (name and address)

  • pension/benefit book (name and address)

  • vehicle registration documents (name and address)

Historic maps

You can access our large digital collection of historic Ordnance Survey (OS) maps. Our dedicated touchscreen is in the Archive reading room. This allows you to compare maps at different time periods at different levels of detail.

Help yourself to paper copies of the county series (1858-1939) from the public map cabinets. They are available to view without appointment in the reading room.

Visit (opens new window) for full listings. 

Other items include:

  • Victorian town plan maps

  • post-war OS maps

  • estate maps

  • retail plans

  • architectural plans

  • geological charts

  • admiralty charts

You can find most of these in the Archive stacks, available on request with notice. Please contact us ahead of visiting to ensure access is available. Some maps may not be available if they are undergoing conservation. 

Most are held in the Archive stacks and are available on request with notice. Please contact us ahead of visiting to ensure access is available (maps may not be available if they are undergoing conservation). 


View over 60 local newspapers dating from 1760 to present day. See our full list of local newspapers

We recommend booking ahead to ensure a microfilm reader is available. Email us at to make an appointment. 

Images of Gateshead

We have thousands of historic images of Gateshead available online. Take a look at our images online (opens new window). Many images are available to buy. Find out more.  

Local history events

We hold events both in-person and online. Find our full events listings at What's on - Gateshead Council

Community projects

We also support community groups and local organisations to access our collections. Staff can provide guidance on accessing resources, tours and tailored sessions. Contact us to find out more. Email us at

Family history records

Visit our Family History pages to find out about our collections, events and family history support.

Research services

If you're unable to visit the library, staff can answer quick enquiries free of charge. For more detailed research, a fee will apply.

Heritage Fund
Made possible with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund

Gateshead Libraries

Central Library, Prince Consort Road, Gateshead NE8 4LN
0191 433 8410

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