The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne is the oldest provincial antiquarian society in England. Founded in 1813 with just 68 members, its membership is now spread across the globe while its refereed journal, Archaeologia Aeliana, can be found in libraries throughout Europe, the USA and Australia. For nearly two centuries, through its meetings and its publications, the Society has encouraged a deeper understanding of the history and archaeology of north-eastern England. Though much of its activity has been focussed on Hadrian's Wall, both prehistoric and medieval periods are well represented in its work - and there is a strong interest in industrial archaeology. Many of the leading figures in the history of British archaeology were members of the Society and published in its journal: John Collingwood Bruce, Sir Ian Richmond, Professor Eric Birley, John Gillam and Professor George Jobey are among a distinguished list of former members.
Almost from the beginning, the Society began collecting books and artefacts. The books, thirty thousand volumes or more, are in our Library at the Great North Museum: Hancock. The archaeological items, once housed in the Black Gate Museum, now form a major element in the displays of the Great North Museum: Hancock. This collection continues to grow; recently the Society purchased an Anglo-Saxon hoard discovered at Bamburgh to strengthen its pre-Norman holdings. The Society's main manuscript collection is now in the Northumberland Record Office, while the bagpipe collection is in the Chantry Bagpipe Museum at Morpeth.
For more information and to see the programme events for the coming year see the The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne website.