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Our specialist natural history library holds a collection of over 12,000 volumes of books and journals, acquired since the NHSN's foundation in 1829.

The Library, Great North Museum: Hancock

Visit the Library – updated 9 November

The wellbeing of our members is our top priority. In light of the changing situation surrounding the spread of coronavirus, the Library is closed until further notice. Please note that the library ‘click & collect’ service is also unavailable.

Join us online

While the library is closed, we’ll be sharing via our blog things to enjoy at home, including Natural History Talks and articles from our publications.

NHSN staff and volunteers, while following the latest advice, will still find time for nature and look forward to updating you with their finds. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as we share things to look out for, things to do and read, and new species to appreciate each day.

Why not read Librarian, Ian Bower’s latest Blog Post on Elizabeth Gould, a talented artist and the wife of John Gould.

Thank you for your continued support. If you have any enquiries please email us at

Library Hours

  • The Library is currently closed.

Books out on loan?

Given the library closure, our usual loan period has been extended. If you have borrowed books from the library, please hold on to them until the Library reopens. Please do not post books back to us.

Any books currently out on loan can be returned without late fees when the Library reopens.

Search the Collection

Our library holds a collection of over 12,000 volumes of books and journals. Learn more about our collection.

You can use Newcastle University’s Library Search to search the collection. Need help?

Some collection materials are not available in Library Search. Please contact us if you would like help searching all collection items.

Donate to the Library

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

For nearly 200 years people have been donating books and journals to our library. 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. Give us a call on 0191 208 2790 or email

Contact Us

Questions about the collection? Need help with your research? Please contact us at the library on 0191 208 3555 or email