Our diverse Archive collection includes a quirky mix of ancient tomes, Peaky Blinder-esque mug shot books, soldiers’ diaries and rare edition prints. If you’re interested in the history of putting pen to paper, you’ll love browsing this collection.
When you visit our Archive collection, you’ll find two large sections – one called the Hutchinson Book Collection and one aptly named the Non-Hutchinson Books. This naming came about due to a special bequest of works from family members of Thomas Hutchinson.
If you’re unaware of Thomas Hutchinson, he was an avid book collector from Morpeth in Northumberland. It is believed that he began collecting sometime in the 1870s, possibly around the same time he started to study to become a teacher. The beloved collection was kindly donated in 1973 by Thomas’ grandchild on behalf of his daughter. It contains over 2,000 works, including pieces of poetry, unpublished works and rare first editions by famous authors and Victorian oddities such as Alistair Crowley.
To list all the archive and ephemera, such as photos and maps, would take up a vast database in itself as the museum has a substantial collection estimated to contain over 60,000 items. The Archive collection is currently in the process of being inventoried by collections staff and volunteers.