Newcastle Miscellaneous Pamphlets

(Collection description created in 2002. Links checked 2009)


Special Collections, The Robinson Library, Newcastle University

Publication date range

ca. 1790-1914

Number of items

ca. 2,000 (bound together in about 210 volumes, scattered throughout various collections)

Description of the collection

The descriptions are of the collections as a whole of which each group of pamphlets forms a part

18th Century Collection

Contains some 19th century pamphlets, bound together with 18th century items. At one time, much 18th century material was located with current stock on the open shelves of the Library, but, in about 1970, it was removed to form the 18th Century Collection. The subject coverage is comprehensive, but with a strong bias towards the arts.

1801-1850 Collection

At one time, much early 19th century material was located with current stock on the open shelves of the Library, but, in about 1970, it was removed to form the 1801-1850 Collection. The subject coverage is comprehensive, but with a bias towards the arts.

Edwin Clarke Local Collection

A local studies collection, covering the history of north-east England and southern Scotland. It contains some local acts.

Entomology Collection

The collection as a whole consists of 18th and 19th century material about insects, often with hand-coloured illustrations.

Friends Collection

This miscellaneous collection was built up with funds from the Friends of the University Library. It has a bias towards history and literature and contains a good deal of local material.

Medical Collection

The origins of the collection as a whole lie in the first library of Newcastle Infirmary, founded in 1819, and the College of Medicine, founded in 1834. This group of pamphlets (not to be confused with two other separate collections, already catalogued so not part of this project, known as "Medical Pamphlets" and "Medical Tracts") covers a range of medical subjects, in particular cholera.

Merz Collection

The pamphlets are part of the library of John Theodore Merz. It is strong in philosophy, mathematics and physics, with some history and German literature.

Post 1850 Collection

This is a small collection of miscellaneous material. Most of the pamphlets are local.

Pybus Collection

The Pybus Collection covers all aspects of medicine, but is especially strong in surgery and anatomy. The pamphlets contain works by, amongst others, James Young Simpson, Joseph Lister, Patrick Manson, Jonathan Hutchinson and William Watson Cheyne.

Rare Books Collection

This is a miscellany of material collected over the years. Most of the pamphlets are local in content and/or were printed in Newcastle.

Spence Watson Collection

The collection as a whole consists in the main of the publications of literary societies, such as the Shakespeare Society and the Spencer Society. The pamphlets consist of Robert Spence Watson's own publications.

Victorian Collection

The Victorian Collection is strong in Victorian literature and in examples of Victorian book production. The pamphlets are miscellaneous in nature, but include a number of Victorian plays.


Various. The pamphlets, which are bound together in groups, are located in a number of the Library's Special Collections. Only the following collections have a single provenance, the remainder having been acquired by a variety of means.

By bequest

  • Edwin Clarke Local Collection

By gift

  • Entomology Collection
  • Medical Collection
  • Merz Collection
  • Pybus Collection
  • Robert Spence Watson Collection

By purchase

  • Friends Collection (built up from individual items)

Language(s) of the material

Largely English, but some German, Latin and French


9.30am-4.45pm, Monday-Friday. Users from outside the University are advised to contact the Special Collections department at least 2 days (Monday-Friday) in advance of any proposed visit and to give prior notice of the items they wish to consult. Not available for inter-library loan, but small amounts of photocopying might be possible depending upon the physical condition of the volume in question. To find out more click here.

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