The diaries of Thomas Sopwith (1803-1879), mining engineer, land surveyor and philanthropist in the north-east of England, cover the period 1828-1879. We hold both the original diaries, and a copy of the material held on 16 reels of microfilm. They form a meticulous account of the professional life of Sopwith, detailing his work, projects and his travels both for business and for enjoyment. The diaries also include sketches and illustrations of people, views, and buildings and often include descriptions of lectures and conversations with people Sopwith met on his travels.
A particularly notable aspect of the diaries is Sopwith's descriptions of journeys he made by rail, often along newly-opened railway lines in a period where rail travel was in its early stages.