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September | Fri 14th | 10:30

Heritage Open Days Tours 10.30am, 11.30am, 2pm and 3pm FREE

The Lit & Phil is unique, special to so many people and very well loved. It’s one of the only historic buildings in Newcastle that retains its original purpose, as a working library.

Tours are an enjoyable way of hearing more about the fascinating stories about the Lit & Phil. It was one of the first institutions of its kind to admit women (in 1804). It became the first building in the world to be lit by electric light, during a lecture by Joseph Swan in 1879. George Stephenson demonstrated his miners’ safety lamp to the Society in 1815.

Whilst there are other independent libraries across the country, the Lit & Phil offers important insight into the history of Newcastle, the north east and the rest of the country.


We are taking part in both weekends of Heritage Open Days:

Thursday 6th September   10.30am, 11.30am, 2.00pm, 3.00pm

Friday 7th September        10.30am, 11.30am, 2.00pm, 3.00pm

Saturday 8th September   10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm


Thursday 13th September   10.30am, 11.30am, 2.00pm, 3.00pm

Friday 14th September        10.30am, 11.30am, 2.00pm, 3.00pm

Saturday 15th September    10.30am, 11.30am


Tours are FREE, but please reserve a place.


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As a member you can borrow most books published after 1850 (but not all at once). You can also access wi-fi in the Library and benefit from priority booking at some events. By joining the Lit & Phil, you are also supporting this wonderful institution, so thank you!

Online Catalogue

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 Check if we have that book you've been looking for. You don't need to be a member to search the catalogue; search by title, author, keyword or subject. Members can then reserve the book to collect later.