At our Research Centre we have a great deal of material which may be of use to visitors, but these are not the only resources available in the North East. This page is intended to give you an brief introduction to those other resources.
All these sites are accessible by car, but most are in city centres so parking may be difficult and expensive.
Parish registers for local parishes have been deposited with local record offices but they are not necessarily in the office you would expect. All the local registers have been microfilmed and copies deposited elsewhere. Check with their websites to see whether they hold the particular one you want, or whether a copy is held at a more convenient location. Our list of transcripts also gives details.
We cannot itemise everything that they hold – you need to go to their websites for that. What we have done below is to highlight some of the unexpected items that they hold.
All of them have non-standard opening hours. You must check with their website before travelling.
From September 2019 most Record Offices will require you to have a CARN card. These are available free of charge at Record Offices but you will need to identify yourself – providing proof of address, signature, and photograph. The webpage at our local archives: Tyne & Wear Archives Service (TWAS) provides details – other Record Offices will have a similar page.
Tyne and Wear Archive Services (TWAS)
Located in Newcastle upon Tyne and within walking distance of our Research Centre. Easy access by train and/or bus. Holds microfilms of cemetery records for Newcastle upon Tyne, and Gateshead. They say you have to book a seat, and the materials you want to examine, seven days before your visit.
Northumberland Record Office
Located at Woodhorn Colliery near Ashington. Excellent bus service to Ashington, but no service from there to Woodhorn. Their website advises either a taxi or a 15 minutes walk.
Berwick-upon-Tweed Record Office
Berwick Library at Walkergate Building, Walkergate, Berwick TD15 1DB.
The majority of records are stored off site so anyone requiring access should contact the record office in advance to order the material that they require.
Fax: 01289 330540
Further details at: https://www.northumberlandarchives.com/contact-us/
Durham Record Office – Closed while re-locating
Currently located at County Hall at Durham City, but will soon be re-located. Accessible by train to Durham and then bus.
Located within Dorman Museum, Linthorpe Rd, Middlesbrough TS5 6LA. Accessible by train and/or bus.
Local history centres
These have a variety of names; and are usually based at the main library in each local authority.
Newcastle City library
Located in Newcastle upon Tyne city centre and within walking distance of our Research Centre. Easy access by train and/or bus. Has parish register transcripts for most of the Tyne valley. Holds microfilms of cemetery records for Newcastle upon Tyne. Has an extensive collection of local newspapers.
North Tyneside library
Located at North Shields. Easy access by local metro and/or bus. Has local parish registers including Christ Church, Tynemouth. Has/had a card index (starting in 1870s) for the local newspapers – now on computer. Has a collection of folders by family surname. Holds microfilms of the local newspapers (Shields Daily News, and Shields Daily Gazette).
South Tyneside library
Located in the Market Place at South Shields and is known as ‘The Word’. Easy access by local metro and/or bus. Has parish registers for all of South Shields. Holds microfilms of the local newspapers (Shields Daily News, and Shields Daily Gazette).
Located at Caedmon House, Prince Consort Road. Easy access by bus. A good collection of local photographs.
Also see (https://www.gateshead.gov.uk/article/9672/Family-history) for more information.
Durham County library
Located in Durham City. A long walk from the train station; a shorter (not short) walk from the bus station. Note: be careful when searching on the Internet for Durham County library as you are more likely to end up at the library in Durham, North Carolina.
Located in Crown Street and known as Crown Street library. The Centre for Local Studies is housed in the library.
Northumberland County library
Located at Morpeth Sports and Leisure Centre, Gas House Lane, Morpeth, Northumberland NE61 1SR. A long walk from the train station; a shorter walk from the bus station.
Located at Blyth. No train service; across the road from the bus station. Holds microfilms of the local newspapers: Blyth Weekly News (from 1874); and a card catalogue of names appearing in the family notices section.
Hexham library, Brough collection
Located at Hexham. A long walk from the train station; a short walk from the bus station. Holds microfilms of the two local newspapers: Hexham Courant, and Hexham Herald.
Sunderland’s City Lending Library has (2017) relocated to the Museum and Winter Gardens on Burdon Road and is now known as City Library @ Museum and Winter Gardens.
The Local History Library was situated on the first floor of the City Library and Arts Centre on Fawcett Street in the centre of Sunderland, almost next door to the Museum. In 2020 they relocated to the well-known Elephant Tea Rooms on the corner of Fawcett Street.
Easy access by local metro and/or bus.
Located at Stockton-on-Tees.
There are very few railway services in the northeast.
Tyne and Wear Metro
There in an extensive network for the Metro which covers the former Tyne and Wear local government area.
There is an extensive network of bus services in the built-up areas, but very little if any in the rural areas. The three principal bus operators are Arriva, Go-Northeast, and Stagecoach.
[Last updated: 10th July 2023]