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White (Robert) Collection

  • W
  • Book Collection
  • 1601 - 1966

The White Collection, named after Robert White (1802-1874) was presented to King's College (now Newcastle University) by his great nephew George White Pickering. It is a rich source of literature as well as being strong in ecclesiastical and local history such as James Raine's writings on local history and antiquities.

There are works by John Dryden, William Hazlitt, Thomas Hood, James Thomson, Robert Burns, Mark Akenside, Thomas Chatterton, John Gay, H.W. Longfellow, Matthew Prior, John Keats, John Milton, James Hogg, John Clare, Edgar Allan Poe, George Herbert, William Cowper, Thomas Gray and the poems of Ossian as well as several works by S.T. Coleridge, including Aids to reflection (1848), Biographia literaria (1817), Confessions of an inquiring spirit (1849) and The friend (1850). Alongside the work of these distinguished authors sit English and Scottish ballads, garlands and chapbooks including some which were printed in Newcastle.

White, Robert, 1802-1874, Antiquary.

Kepier Grammar School Collection

  • K
  • Book Collection
  • 1602 - 1840

Kepier Grammar School was opened by Queen Elizabeth I in 1574 and closed in 1933. The books from its library consist mainly of seventeenth and eighteenth-century works on classics and theology. As well as the classical authors (Euclid, Homer, Cicero, Tacitus, Plutarch, Xenophon et al.), many of the stock authors of the Eighteenth Century are represented: David Hume, Tobias Smollett, Joseph Addison, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, George Lyttleton, Jonathan Swift, Matthew Prior, Alexander Pope and (from the Seventeenth Century) John Locke. Several volumes bear the bookplate of Thomas Griffith, whilst one of the school's governors, Ralph Robinson, presented sixty six volumes to the school in 1742. Valerius Maximus' Cum commento Oliuerii Arzignanensis Vicentini (1500) contains the inscriptions of several former pupils with the dictum: “when you see this remember me“.

Kepier Grammar School

Cowen (Joseph) Tracts

  • Cowen Tracts
  • Book Collection
  • 1603 - 1879

The Cowen Tracts are almost two thousand pamphlets which were formerly owned by local (radical) M.P., Joseph Cowen (1829-1900). The tracts date mostly from the mid- to late-Nineteenth Century and reflect Cowen's interest in the social, educational, political and economic issues of the day.

There is some earlier material, such as Deed of incorporation for the insurance of ships printed by T. Angus, St. Nicholas' Church-Yard, Newcastle (1778). Pamphlets were an effective form of public debate because they could be circulated to a wider audience than books and authors could remain anonymous. The Cowen Tracts discuss Irish politics, foreign policy, women's rights, religion, education and public health and include such titles as The Union programme for 1880: constructive, not destructive, Irish legislation [1879?], Are women fit for politics?: are politics fit for women [185-] and The education of the agricultural labourer: a paper read before the Morpeth Chamber of Agriculture, on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 1870 by M.W. Ridley (1870).

Cowen, Joseph, 1829-1900, Politician, Journalist

Manuscript Albums

  • MSA
  • Archive Collection
  • 1615 - 1959

Contains of 2 albums of letters, including some by people of local significance like Thomas Bewick, Richard Grainger, George Stephenson, George Otto Trevelyan, Robert Spence Watson and Joseph Swan and others written by such household names as A.E. Houseman, Horatio Nelson, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, William Wilberforce, Michael Faraday, William Ewart Gladstone, Thomas Carlyle, Walter Besant, Mary Shelley, Charles Babington, Garibaldi, Victor Hugo, Ellen Terry and Robert Southey. Other letters include a request for an address to facilitate the delivery of a bear skin from David Walton (1859), an account of the pranks of the 'Borrowlow Bogle' from J. Arkle (1856), the refusal to grant Madame de Bury's request that an officer in the Indian Army be promoted by Richard Airey (1860), a description of his house in China by James Bruce Elgin (1860) and a discussion of French politics and her newly-married life in the country by Frances [i.e. Fanny] Burney (1792).

Newcastle University

Entomology Collection

  • Ent. Coll.
  • Book Collection
  • 1634 - 1915

The Entomology Collection currently contains books on insects which were published between the late-Eighteenth and mid-Nineteenth Centuries, some of which have hand-coloured illustrations. The books are written in English, French or German, for the most part, with some in Latin.

Newcastle University

Bell (Gertrude) Collection

  • B
  • Book Collection
  • 1653 - 1990

Books on Arabic and Persian languages, and on the history and antiquities of Arabia, Iraq and the Near East that formed part of Gertrude Bell's working library.

Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian, 1868-1926, traveller, archaeologist and diplomat

Clarke (Edwin) Local Collection

  • Clarke
  • Book Collection
  • 1655 - 1993

Part of a bequest from Edwin Clarke (1919-1996), the Clarke Local Collection is more than a local history collection as it is quite strong in the literature of the region too: T. Wilson's The pitman's pay: and other poems (1843), Robert White's The Tynemouth nun: a poem (1829), Rhymes of Northern bards (1812) and more, as well as memoirs, sermons, topographical descriptions, guides and histories.

Although it comprises books published in the mid- to late-Twentieth Century, for the most part, it does contain a significant amount of more historic material, such as The papers which passed at New-castle betwixt his sacred Majestie and Mr Al. Henderson … (1649), R. Gardiner's Englands grievance discovered … (1655), A sentimental tour through Newcastle (1794), History of the water supply of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1851) and several nineteenth-century directories and poll books.

Clarke, Edwin, 1919-1996, Neurologist and Medical Historian.

Clarke (Edwin) Miscellaneous Collection

  • Clarke Misc.
  • Book Collection
  • 1655 - 1992

Bequeathed by Edwin Clarke (1919-1996), approximately half of the Clarke Miscellaneous Collection was published in the Twentieth Century but the collection contains material dating back to 1655. It is a collection with a strong bias towards the occult, ritual and folklore, with some rogue items relating to book history.

Examples include A laconic narrative on the life & death of James Wilson, known by the name of Daft Jamie (1881) - a victim of Burke and Hare -, F. Hutchinson's An historical essay concerning witchcraft (1718), The Yorkshire spiritual telegraph and British harmonial advocate (1857) and a book on exercise by H. Halsted called Motion-life: or the demon of the age and means of its exorcism (1856).

Clarke, Edwin, 1919-1996, Neurologist and Medical Historian.

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