The Lit & Phil

Newcastle & Gateshead

The Lit & Phil is Newcastle’s exquisite independent library, open to all and free to explore and browse. Housing an historic as well as contemporary library of books and music, the Lit & Phil's Grade II* listed building is the venue for a wide range of public events such as talks, concerts, readings, discussions and book launches.

Founded in 1793, its purpose-built library opened in 1825 on Westgate Road, and is just yards from Central Station. It became a hub of learning and enlightenment long before the city’s universities existed and today continues to inspire minds, stimulate imaginations and confer a wealth of knowledge to young and old alike.

The library holds a collection of more than 170,000 books, the largest music collection in the North of England and a dazzling events programme packed with jazz, folk and classical music, celebrity author evenings, theatre and storytelling, poetry reading and classes covering everything from bookbinding to Latin, fine art to creative writing. 

Access to the Lit & Phil is free to all, but members enjoy special privileges. Find out about membership here.

23 Westgate Road Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SE

  • Mon 9.30am – 7pm
  • Tue 9.30am – 8pm
  • Wed 9.30am – 7pm
  • Thu 9.30am – 7pm
  • Fri 9.30am – 5pm
  • Sat 9.30am – 1pm
  • Wheelchair lift to entrance door
  • Stairlift to main library (press bell marked 'Friedland')
  • Level floor to main library
  • Magnifying glasses and some large-print books available
  • Level access to female toilets
  • No step-free access to male toilets
  • No step-free access to gallery level (sheet music collection)
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