To provide you with the best experience on this website, cookies are used. By using the site it's assumed that you're happy with our use of cookies. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. More info on cookies.
Allow cookies

Advertisement

Lit & Phil

About

Newcastle is home to many fantastic buildings, places that you walk past or into, trying to imagine what they were like years ago. You don’t need to imagine what the Lit & Phil was like because it retains its original purpose as well as all of its charm. The interior of the main reading room is skylit with three enormous dome lanterns set into the roof. The walls of the galleried, double height space are lined with some of the 160,000 book collection.

It’s a phenomenal, inspiring and welcoming space, a great place to spend some time. Members and visitors enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and use the library to read the papers, meet friends, work and study. The vast collection grows by over 1000 books each year and we house. The Lit & Phil is also home to 7,000 CDs, and over 10,000 LPs. The music is mainly classical and represents a significant collection that also includes scores, sheet music and reference works.

The Literary and Philosophical Society was founded in 1793 by a few like-minded gentlemen, and they first met in three Newcastle locations including The Old Assembly Rooms. The Society thrived and in 1822 members decided to build themselves a permanent home in the gardens of Bolbec Hall, and the Lit & Phil as we know it was opened in 1825. It was always populated with leading thinkers of the day who met to talk and exchange ideas; early presidents of the society included Robert Stephenson, Lord Armstrong, Joseph Swan and Charles Parsons.

Testament to these innovators, it was to members of the Literary and Philosophical Society that George Stephenson demonstrated his miners’ safety lamp in 1815. In 1880 the society’s lecture theatre was the first public room to be lit by electric light, during one of Joseph Swan’s many lectures at the Lit and Phil.

A Library first and foremost with over 160,000 books, we house current fiction alongside historical collections. Unlike public libraries we are building a collection, we don’t throw books away which means that when you find a book that you can’t put down, chances are that we have the rest of that author’s work. The Lit & Phil is fast becoming a cultural centre for the North East, a writers’ paradise and literary destination. In 2010, there were over 100 events at the Lit & Phil including book launches, poetry readings, lectures, concerts, workshops and tours. Most events take place in the awe-inspiring reading room, where guests are thrilled to see nothing but books lining every wall. All events are open to the public and many are free, although donations are welcome.

 

 

Map & Directions

What's Nearby

  1. City Sightseeing Ltd

    Explore Newcastle Gateshead in style with an open top double decker bus tour, tickets...

    0.07 miles away
  2. Culture Lab OnSite

    Culture Lab OnSite is a project space in the city centre of Newcastle.

    0.07 miles away
  3. St Nicholas Cathedral

    St Nicholas Cathedral has been the home of a caring and worshipping community for over...

    0.08 miles away
  1. Exit Newcastle

    Exit Newcastle is a live exit game in which you are locked in with friends, family or...

    0.14 miles away
  2. Newcastle Castle

    Located in the historic heart of the city, Newcastle Castle tells the story of this...

    0.15 miles away
  3. Aldermans Fenwicks House

    Aldermans Fenwicks House

    This house is one of the most important mercantile town houses in any city in the North...

    0.16 miles away
  4. The Stand Comedy Club Newcastle

    The Stand Newcastle is one of the best venues in the North East for comedy. Offering...

    0.17 miles away
  5. Stephenson Works

    The Stephenson Works is now part of the Stephenson Quarter and is often used as an event...

    0.17 miles away
  6. Escape Newcastle

    Escape Newcastle is a new, fun, challenging live exit game. We are based in Newcastle...

    0.18 miles away
  7. BALTIC 39

    BALTIC 39, a new cultural hub for contemporary art located on High Bridge in the heart of...

    0.2 miles away
  8. Grey Street and Grainger Town

    Grainger Town is one of the dazzling jewels in our crown, with classical architecture...

    0.2 miles away
  9. Moving Gallery

    The primary aim of the Moving Gallery is to offer new graduates the opportunity to...

    0.2 miles away
  10. Lost & Escape

    Lost and Escape is a kind of real live escape game. Players will be locked in series of...

    0.21 miles away
  11. Bessie Surtees House

    These two five-storey 16th and 17th-century merchant's houses are fine examples of...

    0.22 miles away
  12. Side Gallery

    Since opening in 1977, the gallery has been committed to documentary in the tradition of...

    0.23 miles away
  13. Explore Lifelong Learning

    ‘Explore’ is a radical and revolutionary vision of what Lifelong Learning can be:...

    0.24 miles away
Previous Next

Search What's Nearby

Product Type
Proximity
Within miles

Opening Times

Open (1 Jan 2017 - 31 Dec 2017)
DayTimes
Monday09:3019:00*
Tuesday09:3020:00*
Wednesday09:3019:00*
Thursday09:3019:00*
Friday09:3017:00*
Saturday09:3013:00*
SundayClosed*
Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change

Other Websites