Philip Robinson Library

The Philip Robinson Library (© Chris Bishop)

The Philip Robinson Library is the main library for Newcastle University. It contains resources for all subjects except Medicine and Law, which have their own dedicated libraries on campus. The building opened in 1982, occupying ground cleared during the construction of the Newcastle Central Motorway in the early 1970s. It was named after Philip Robinson, a distinguished bookseller in the city and benefactor to the library, in 1989.  

Philip Robinson’s Bookshop in Newcastle: (© unknown) 

The building was designed by the Newcastle-based architect Harry Faulkner-Brown, a pioneering designer of modern library buildings in the UK and a graduate of Newcastle University. He incorporated echoes of a Northumbrian castle fortress into its appearance through its long narrow windows reminiscent of arrow slits. The building was extended in 1996 to provide additional study space, better provision for staff-user interaction, more teaching space and a large computer cluster. 

The exterior of the Robinson Library building 1982, NUA UNCAT ROB 1, Newcastle University Archives, Newcastle University Special Collections, GB 186

The library was initially known simply as the Robinson Library until 2016, when it was renamed as the Philip Robinson Library to distinguish it from the new Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms (located on Sandyford Road), named after Philip Robinson’s wife Marjorie who was also a hugely generous benefactor to the library.  

Visit CollectionsCaptured to see more photographs of Newcastle University campus from the University Archives.


McCord, Norman (2006) Newcastle University Past, Present and Future. Newcastle: Third Millennium Publishing. 

Want to learn more about the history of Newcastle University campus? Why not explore all the articles in our Campus Tour blog series.

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