Skip to the content


Jigsaw puzzling

Even if all parts of a problem seem to fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, one has to remember that the probable need not necessarily be the truth and the truth not always probable.
Sigmund Freud
Two tin cans

What it says on the tin…

In 1813 the first tin canned goods were made for the Royal Navy by Bryan Donkin and John Hall who created the world's first commercial canning factory on Southwark Park Road in London. This very early example was presented to the Lit & Phil with an interesting background story...

Independent Libraries Association logo

From Neil Pearson

The Independent Libraries Association was founded in 1989 to further the conservation, restoration and public awareness of a too little known but significant section of our cultural heritage. It aims to develop links between its constituent members by means of co-operative agreements, newsletters, social gatherings, seminars, workshops and meetings. Its President is actor and antiquarian book dealer Neal Pearson.

Page from a log photo

Too much stuff

We live in an age of stuff. In multiple aspects of our modern lives, we are confronted with an oftentimes overwhelming abundance, and an insidious demand for our attention: the colossal archives of services such as Spotify and Netflix offer more entertainment than could be ingested in several lifetimes, and this with only a superficial appreciation of the material.

Folk singers

21st Century Folk ... and Beyond!

Folk music is not just or only music from olden times sung by old men singing with a finger in their ear in the upstairs room of a pubs. It's alive and well and very much a living tradition. The Lit & Phil's music librarian has written a short blog about a few of its current exponents.

Owl from Audubon's collection

John James Audubon and his Elephant visit the North of England in 1827

In the spring of 1827, an event took place in the north east of England that was a landmark in the related worlds of art and natural history. At this time the charismatic and larger than life wildlife artist and publisher John James Audubon was on a tour of the United Kingdom in order to raise subscriptions for his planned magnum opus “The Birds of America.” Newcastle and its surrounding area were one of his ports of call.

Boy reading in bed

Literature in Lockdown

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
― Groucho Marx

Golden temple in Kyoto

Haiku competition

For the Lit & Phil's very first online competition we invite you to create a haiku, a form of Japanese poetry of just seventeen syllables in three lines of five, seven and five.

Trumpet emoji

Is it any good?

Ah, solving that question

Brings the priest and the doctor

In their long coats

Running over the fields

Philip Larkin

For events, news & offers...

Sign up to our e-newsletter

(You can unsubscribe at any time)