Lit and Phil - The Literary and Philosophical Society

Lit and Phil

The Literary & Philosophical Society (Lit & Phil) is the largest independent library outside London, housing over 150,000 books. A wide selection of current fiction and non-fiction can be found alongside historical collections covering every field of interest.

The music library is without equal in the North of England, including 7,000 CDs and 10,000 LPs. For more information, please access the link on the right hand side to the music library webpage.

Our Grade II* listed building was opened in 1825 and the magnificent reading rooms remain largely unchanged. Our collection is coupled with an extensive set of periodicals, providing an exceptional resource for both general reader and academic researcher.

In addition to the library, the Society hosts a wide range of events including book launches, concerts, lectures, readings and workshops that cover a variety of topics and issues. Both members and non-members are welcome to attend these events, which are mostly free.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Mon 9.30 - 19.00
Tues 9.30am - 20.00
Wed 9.30am - 19.00
Thurs 9.30am - 19.00
Fri 9.30am - 17.00
Sat 9.30am - 13.00

Closed: Sun

Admission charges

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Reflections of Newcastle 1914-18

Reflections of Newcastle 1914-18

  • 1 July 2016 9am-5pm
  • 2 July 2016 9am-4pm

The launch of 'Reflections of Newcastle 1914-18' at the Lit & Phil on the 1 and 2 July. Reflections involves the creation of three iBooks and city centre walks that look at the intellectual, cultural and social life of Newcastle during World War One.

The iBooks combine archive material from local and national archives and collections with narratives spoken directly to the viewer by fictional characters, through film, photography and written material, to guide people around the streets of Newcastle.

The iBooks will be launched with two open days at the Lit & Phil on 1 and 2 July. There will be several live events across the city, free guided tours of the Lit & Phil and an opportunity to upload the iBooks onto your own iPad or borrow one from the Lit & Phil in order take a walk around Newcastle and see it from a different perspective. Live events and exhibitions in Newcastle centre:

Lit & Phil – exhibitions, installations and audio using archive material found at the Lit & Phil including a Whispering Gallery and exhibition of German War Cartoons, light boxes with archive material from the Lit & Phil. Open during library hours.

Central Station – pop up performance of a group of soldiers heading to the front at set times.
Friday 1st July: 9am 11am 2.30pm 5pm
Saturday 2nd July: 9am 11am 2.30pm 3.30pm

J.G. Windows, Central Arcade - recreation of a World War One era shop window with music from the time. 1 July – 11 November 2016

Suitable for

  • Any age
Reflections of Newcastle 1914-18

Ian McArdle: The Germans on the Somme

  • 5 July 2016 6-7:30pm

Reflections of Newcastle 1914-18 presents Ian McArdle and his talk 'The Germans and the Somme at the Lit & Phil on Tuesday 5th July 2016 at 6pm. Entrance: FREE

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Lit and Phil - The Literary and Philosophical Society
23 Westgate Road
Newcastle & Gateshead
Tyne and Wear




0191 232 0192

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.