Search guidance

We have over 450,000 objects from our collections to search online. There are two ways to search our collections. If you know what you're looking for, use the standard collections search. If you want to dive in, use our collections discovery engine.

Our venues hold outstanding collections in the fields of archives, art, science and technology, ethnography, archaeology, military and social history, maritime history and natural sciences. Our art, natural science, archives and science and industry collections have been awarded Designated status by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in recognition of their national importance.

Collections range from small insects to large engines and working steam locomotives and include material of local interest as well as collections gathered from across the world. In date they range from items acquired as part of our contemporary collecting programme (including electronic games and MP3 players) to fossils which are hundreds of millions of years old.

Please be aware that this database contains a great variety of information and images. It may include images of objects that could offend some people, or that local communities might consider sacred or special.

The images and text published on these collections databases are for private use only, not for copying, reproduction or publication. Images are low resolution. The copyright holder for these digital images is Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. In the case of art works, the artist, maker, designer or their agent may hold copyright in the original artwork. By choosing to view the collections you have accepted these conditions.

If you have any comment or query, please contact

If you would like to reproduce an image or purchase a copy of an image, please view the image licensing pages of our website.

For further information about direct access to stored collections please e-mail You may want to ask us to research for you which may incur a charge. Find out about our paid-for research service.