Tyne & Wear Archives

What will students see and do?

Based in the Discovery Museum in the heart of Newcastle, Tyne & Wear Archives is home to thousands of documents relating to the five districts of Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead, North Tyneside and South Tyneside.

These documents originate from the 12th-21st centuries and include building plans, school, hospital and church records, and business records, especially those of important local industries such as shipbuilding, engineering and mining. In total, they take up approximately 20km of shelving.

Tyne & Wear Archives is able to host school groups who wish to explore the treasure trove of historical documents stored in the archives. The team offer brief tours of the search room and an overview of the finding aids for personal research, as well as a workshop-based session that includes a hands-on experience with a wide range of original material.

The workshop can be themed around a particular subject or topic depending on the group’s interest – popular choices include family history, shipbuilding and mining.

The site features regularly changing displays of images from the collection, which can be found along the corridor leading to the search room. Past displays have included 19th-century mug shots, photographs of ships built on the Tyne and photos from the Wallsend Boys Football Club.

Teaching resources provided

Tyne & Wear has put together several information packs and videos, as well as activities for students to take part in, including crafting, treasure hunts, baking recipes, bingo sheets, spot the difference and more.

These are themed around the topics of toys, transport, Victory in Europe Day (VE Day), illusions, fashion, bridges over the River Tyne, ships and shipbuilding, science works, women in STEM, gravity, mirrors, shadows, flight, carousels, code-breaking, seasides, maps, water, the Great Fire of Newcastle and Gateshead, inventors and colourful discoveries.

Minimum and maximum group size

No limit stated – get in touch to discuss.

Details of risk assessment

You are welcome to take a preliminary visit. The venue’s hazard identification sheet can be downloaded from the website.


Don't miss our downloadable A-Z guide on completing a risk assessment

icon for A-Z guide on completing a risk assessment

Facilities On-Site

As well as the archives and the Discovery Museum’s exhibitions, there is a cafe on the second floor that serves a range of coffees, teas and soft drinks, as well as hot and cold light bites and children’s lunchboxes.

Opening Times

Monday-Friday: 10am-4pm
Saturday-Sunday: 11am-4pm



Entry is free but charges apply on all workshops. These will be clearly communicated to you by the learning team when you make your enquiry.

Travel arrangements

Tyne & Wear Archives can be found on the ground floor of the Discovery Museum, which is a five-minute walk from Newcastle Central train station and well signposted – simply head west along Neville Street/Westmorland Road and you can’t miss it. There is minibus and coach parking nearby on Ord Street, near Newcastle Arena.


Tyne & Wear Archives, Discovery Museum, Blandford Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne

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Book your school trip to Tyne & Wear Archives

For information on booking your school trip to this venue, click below.

Book your school trip to Tyne & Wear Archives

For information on booking your school trip to this venue, click below.

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