Surtees Society Records

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 33 SUS
  • Dates of Creation
      1834 onwards; predominantly 1834-1860 and 1950 onwards
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      2.5 metres

Scope and Content

Administrative records of the Society, accumulated by officers of the sciety, chiefly the secretary, including correspondence relating to its foundation, full set of minutes, recent financial material, files relating to the preparation and publication of Volumes 177 - 203, recent membership records.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Surtees Society was founded in 1834, to publish historical records relating to Northumbria. The inaugural meeting gave amplified expression to this purpose as the publication of inedited manuscripts, illustrative of the intellectual, the moral, the religious, and the social condition of those parts of England and Scotland, included on the East between the Humber and the Firth of Forth, and on the West between the Mersey and the Clyde, a region which constituted the Ancient Kingdom of Northumberland.

The moving spirit of the society for many years was James Raine (1791-1858), librarian to the Dean and Chapter of Durham, who was both the society's secretary and the editor of fifteen of its first twenty-four volumes. The society continues to flourish, and has now published over two hundred volumes. These cover all of the north of England, but volumes relating to Co. Durham have been most numerous.


Chronologically within the following groups:

  • 1. Minutes.
  • 2. Early correspondence.
  • 3. Council business (all modern files)
  • 4. Secretary's correspondence, 1949 onwards. Also includes historical notes by A. Hamilton Thompson, compiler of the society's centennial history (see Publication note below).
  • 5. Treasurer's papers, 1941-1996.
  • 6. Publications and sales papers, 1963-1978.
  • 7. Editor's files (modern).
  • 8. Membership.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation

Acquisition Information

Deposited by the society, 1990 onwards.

Other Finding Aids

Available online at online catalogue.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.


Future deposits by the officers of the society as convenient

Related Material

Add. MS 833 (letters to James Raine, including some relating to his activities as Surtees Society secretary).


Heavy use of the early material (minutes, correspondence), with extensive quotations, was made for The Surtees Society 1834-1934 including a catalogue of its publications with notes on their sources and contents and a list of the members of the Society from its beginning to the present day by A. Hamilton Thompson (Surtees Soc. 150, 1939)

Corporate Names