Explore the North East’s natural history library collection and discover over 12,000 books and journals on the natural world.

The North East’s Natural History Library Collection

Located in the Great North Museum: Hancock Library, NHSN’s library collection contains over 12,000 books and journals collected over almost two centuries.

Open to everyone, it is arguably the most comprehensive collection dedicated to the natural world in the North of England.

The collection contains:

  • A wide range of field guides covering birds, mammals, plants and insects across the North East and beyond.
  • Books and journals on all aspects of natural history including geology, ecology, and conservation.
  • Traditional and modern nature writing celebrating the diversity and beauty of the natural world.
  • Many rare and exquisitely illustrated books on natural history, some dating back to the 16th century.
The New Naturalist collection © NHSN

Visit the Library

Please check the Library’s website for their opening hours: Library and Archives | Great North Museum: Hancock

Everyone is welcome to use the Great North Museum: Hancock Library – no membership is necessary. Please contact the library before visiting if you are travelling.

To contact the Great North Museum: Hancock Library, telephone (0191) 208 3555 or email library@greatnorthmuseum.org.uk.

Borrowing Books

NHSN members can borrow up to four books from the NHSN library collections at one time. To do so, simply select your favourite wild reads and speak with Great North Museum: Hancock Librarian, who will be happy to help.

If you have borrowed books from the library, please return them during opening hours.

Donate to the Library

Without book and journal donations our library collection would not be what it is today.

For nearly 200 years people have been donating books and journals to our library collection. They make up a significant part of our collection and enable other people to enjoy them. We are really grateful to everyone who donates to us.

If you have any books or journals that you think you would like to donate to us then we would love to hear from you.

GNM: Hancock Library © NHSN

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