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

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.
Reflections of Newcastle 1914-18

Reflections of Newcastle 1914-18

'Reflections of Newcastle 1914-18' involves the creation of three free iBooks and three city walks that look at the intellectual, social and cultural history of Newcastle. Each iBook follows a different story, choose between: Soldier Jonny Atkinson, munitionette and suffragette Addy Dixon, and young twins Harry and Emmy Fisher, whose father has gone to fight in the war.

The city walks start and end at the Lit & Phil, where you can also borrow up to 10 iPads for the walk with the iBooks already downloaded onto them. If you have your own iPads you can download the iBooks and learning pack for free from the project website If you wish to borrow the iPads for your pupils to use we advise that you ring up in advance so we can make sure they are available and to get them ready for you. We also have a room you can book for free whilst you are here if you wish to have lunch or do a few activities based on the iBooks.

The story of Harry and Emmy Fisher has been specifically designed with KS2 and KS3 pupils in mind, including a free downloadable learning pack. The stories of Jonny and Addy are for all ages.


  • Lit & Phil
  • November Club
  • Newcastle College
  • Northumbria University


  • Lit & Phil

How to obtain

The iBooks are downloadable from the website including a learning pack for ks2 and ks3 pupils. The Lit & Phil have 10 iPads that can be borrowed for the walk with the iBooks already downloaded. Please ring on 0191 232 0192 to book them.

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.