Library closure - 18th-25th April 2014

The Mining Institute Library will be closed for the Easter bank holidays and for the week following Easter Monday for essential maintenance. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Mining the Institute Lecture Programme 2013-14

The events programme is now available as a pdf to download here. All events are free and take place at the Mining Institute starting at 7.00pm.
There is also a website to give more information on the Mining the Institute project.

Sam Dickinson at the Mining Institute - Saturday 22nd March 2014


Soul & MoTown influenced singer songwriter performs his debut album ‘The Stories That Occurred’ acoustically. Celebrity fans include Gabrielle, Beverley Knight and Jaki Graham. “If Lulu and Otis Redding had a musical child, his name would be Sam Dickinson.” (Soundtrack to my Day)

For more information and sample tracks, please visit Sam's website

The Railway Club and Nev Clay - 11th April 2014


Preview their tracks at
Tickets available - only £3 - at

New book: Railways Before George Stephenson by Les Turnbull

A Study of the Waggonways in the Great Northern Coalfield 1605-1830.”
Many believe that railways began in 1825 with the opening of the Stockton and Darlington line; but “Railways Before George Stephenson” reveals a different version of history. This book traces the development of the world’s first network of railways; the lines which served the Great Northern Coalfield during the two hundred years before Stephenson drove ‘Locomotion’ through Darlington. It is a valuable piece of research into an area of railway history of international importance and is essential reading for all railway enthusiasts. There is also much within these pages for those with a general interest in the history of the North East of England for the development of the railway and the locomotive were amongst the region’s finest achievements.

The book is richly illustrated with rear archive materials from the Institute and private archives. The book comprises 176 pages with detailed maps of the waggonways, including a transposition of these onto modern mapping for the first time. Les Turnbull is a graduate of Durham University and Newcastle University. He is a Member of the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers.  Published by Chapman Research Publishing of Oxford in conjunction with the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers.

The book retails at £17.50 and copies sold will raise funds for the Institute. Copies are available at the Library during opening hours (Monday-Friday 10am-5pm).
If you’d like to order a copy to be posted to you, please add £6.80 p&p.

Book cover

Minerals Collection online

A new section has been added to the site with an online exhibition of different minerals complete with detailed illustrative photos.  The minerals were all collected by one of our trustees, Dr. Colin Laidler, who kindly worked on this project with artist Adrian Moule to create this online exhibition.

UK Online Centre

Why not come down to the Institute and try out the Go On training courses? There's something for everyone from the very beginning of how to use a mouse and keyboard. Computers are available Monday-Friday 10am-5pm and we can give you one-to-one help to get started. And best of all, all courses are completely free!  Please telephone or call in to book an appointment with one of our volunteers. You are also welcome to bring your own laptops or tablets to your appointments for advice on using those.

New books for sale:

We have a range of new books available for sale from the library or by post. If you buy a copy from us then up to one third of the cover price goes to support the Institute and the library at no additional cost to you.

Titles include:

The Conside Trilogy by Garry O' Hagan- 12.95
George Townsend Andrews of York - The Railway Architect by Bill Fawcett - 26.95
Railways before George Stephenson - Les Turnbull - £17.50 - Last few copies!
A History of the Newcastle and Berwick Railway ed. John Addyman - 18.50
The Great Northern Miner by Ken and Jean Smith - 12.95
Coals from Newcastle by Les Turnbull 10.95
The Pitmen's Requiem by Peter Crookston 18.00
The Splendour of the Gala by Ken and Jean Smith - 9.99
Unfinished Business - The Miners' strike for jobs 1984-5 by Peter Arkell & Ray Rising - 7.99
Collieries of Beamish - Garry O Hagan - 12.95 - Last few copies!
The Making of a prodigy - Robert Stephenson by Victoria Haworth - 9.95
The Odyssey by Raymond Hicks 5
Rope and Chain Haulage by Colin Mountford - £29.95

Please do call into the Institute Library for your copies or call Jennifer on 0191 2332459 for more information (P&P charged at cost).

Volunteers wanted!

New volunteers are always welcomed at the Institute to help with our ongoing projects to improve access to the collections - our volunteer policy is available here. Some work can even be done at home via the internet so please do contact our librarian, Jennifer Hillyard on 0191 2332459 or email her using the Contact Form if you have some time available.

Annual Report:

Click Here to download the 2011-2012 Annual Report.


The latest newsletter is now available to download here

The Institute is a registered charity incorporated by Royal Charter (Charity no: 220208).

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We would appreciate any donation you can make to help maintain the Institute.