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Beamish Resource Centre and the Friends.

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Using the Resource Centre for your Research.

photograph: Treasures in store.

Photograph: Treasures in Store. A Friend searches the Museum Resource Centre database of photographs.
With an alternative description for non graphics or blind users.

The following information is provided to encourage the Friends of Beamish and other local history researchers to make greater use of the wonderful facilities of the Resource Centre. This could be a great source of research for articles and stories for the Friends' Website. Any comments or brilliant ideas? If you would like to get involved in any way you can please Contact Us.

About the Regional Resource Centre.

The Photographic Library.

The Photographic Library provides a visual record of life as it was in the North East region. The collection consists of several hundred thousand old photographs illustrating towns and street scenes, rural life and farming scenes and many industrial scenes of coal mining above and below ground. Lead mining, iron and steel, transport and other northern industries are well represented.

The photographs largely illustrate people at work and play. Also included are more modern record photographs showing buildings of interest in the North East region. Together these form a superb contribution to historical record.

Major collections deposited include the following:

  • Durham Advertiser newspaper
  • Agricultural Gazette and Farmers' Guardian
  • Huwood Mining Machinery Company
  • ICI collection from Teesside
  • BBC Newcastle stills.

The Museum is continually adding to the collections and welcomes enquiries from individuals with old photographs.
Photographs are made available via the computer databases in the search room but may also be searched via card indexes.

The Printed Book Collection.

This consists of over 64,000 publications from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Subject areas range from social history, to agriculture, retail, transport, trades and industry as well as domestic life, interior design and local history. Many of the volumes are now out of print and may be difficult to locate elsewhere in the region.

A large collection of Trade Catalogues of suppliers and manufacturers dating from 1830 to the present, forms a magnificent resource covering everything from kitchen ranges to industrial machinery.

The resource collections also include 19th and 20th century posters, leaflets, ephemera, prints and maps.

Oral History Collection.

An Oral History collection of about 800 tapes preserves the memories of north eastern people and includes reminiscences, stories, dialect, music and song.

The Object Collection.

The Object Collections are vast. They include all aspects of social, rural and industrial life. The collections are not limited by date, but cover periods from the 1600s until the present day. Many of these collections are housed in the Regional Resource Centre, however the collections are so extensive that some items have to be stored elsewhere.

Whilst some of these collections may be accessed others are viewable via the computer database. Group visits to the Regional Resource Centre must be booked in advance by contacting the Collections Access Officer on 0191 370 4000.

Regular open days for the Regional Museums Store are held throughout the year. Places must be booked in advance by contacting the Senior Keeper on 0191 370 4000.

The Regional Museums Store.

The Regional Museums Store is a joint initiative by Beamish and Tyne and Wear Museums. It is a huge warehouse storing the large object collections of both museums. These include the Tyne Wherry boat Elswick No2 of 1930, a Doxford marine engine built in 1977, engineering and transport items as well as a huge collection of enamel advertisements.

The Regional Resource Centre and Access to the Collections.

Beamish holds collections of regional, national and international importance, which are 'Designated' as outstanding. The new Regional Resource Centre was designed and built, with a state-of-art roller racking system, ensuring that the collections are accessible and stored in optimum environmentally controlled conditions.

A friendly search room is available by appointment providing facilities for research. The Resource Collections are available Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm free of charge. It is essential to make an appointment before your visit.

If you wish to make an enquiry, or book a place in the search room, please contact the Curatorial department on 0191 370 4000.

The Centre provides:

  • Free access, by appointment, to the search room and study areas (wheelchairs welcome).
  • Friendly, knowledgeable staff to assist you.
  • Superb printed book and trade catalogue collections.
  • A vast photographic library with images of places and people in the North East.
  • Access to object collections via the computer database.
  • Opportunities for volunteering with the collections.
  • Guided tours for groups to see behind the scenes (bookable in advance).
  • Photocopying facilities are available.

Note: We regret we do not hold family history material.

How to Get There.

Directions are from the main entrance at Beamish.

At the mini-roundabout in front of the large steam hammer turn left and follow the signs to the Regional Resource Centre. You will pass Home Farm on your left. Take the next right turn as you start to go down the hill.
Car parking is available and there is access for wheelchair users.

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Text Equivalent of the Photograph on This Page.

Screen Reader version for people who cannot see the image for what ever reason.

Photograph: Treasures in Store. A woman searches the Museum Resource Centre database of photographs..

The photograph shows a woman using a computer in a large room. She is sitting at the right half looking at a monitor screen on the left half of the picture. The camera is looking at the back of her head with a small section of face visible showing that she has short dark hair and is wearing black rimmed spectacles. She has on a black and white horizontal striped sweater and her hands can be seen to rest on the keys of a standard computer keyboard positioned on a table in the low centre between her and the monitor.

The left half of the picture is taken up by a light cream coloured computer monitor whose screen is blue but the picture is difficult to make out except for a dark rectangular shape on the top right of the screen.

Behind the computer monitor there is a dark coloured screen over which can be seen the rest of the room. There are light green walls and a central space that seems to lead into another large room or office. There are two small pictures on the wall. TEXT.


Join the Friends.

More than just free visits when the Museum is open. See the extra benefits to you and your family. Printable application form available.

Join NOW!

Become a Friend of Beamish. No matter where you live. You don't have to live locally to join The Friends.

Lend a Hand, Learn a Skill.

We always need volunteers to give a few hours, especially at the weekend, to assist with the work carried out by The Friends of Beamish Museum.
Lend a hand.

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