Welcome to the Sunderland Antiquarian Society

Established in 1900 we are the oldest history society in Sunderland

About the Sunderland Antiquarian Society

Sunderland Antiquarian Society was founded on 21st November 1899 and held its first meeting on 1st February 1900.

Since then it has continued to serve the cause of local history in and around Sunderland and remains the only society of its kind which is devoted to the history of our entire local community.

The Society's vast collection of documents, books, newspapers, photographs and maps relating to Sunderland are housed at 6 Douro Terrace, Sunderland, SR2 7DX (just up from Civic Centre)

The Society's aims are to communicate information regarding Sunderland's past and to preserve items of modern everyday life as a future archive for later researchers.

The Society holds talks from September to June in the Bethany Centre, Bede Tower, Ryhope Road (opposite theheritage centre). These talks are held on the third Tuesday of each month. A full programme of the talks is published during the summer recess. See the WHAT'S ON page for further details.

View a virtual tour of the Sunderland Antiquarian Society's Heritage Centre.
View Part 1
View Part 2

The archives also open every Wednesday and Saturday morning for research purposes (9.30 - 12noon).

Exclusive members content

The Society publishes free to members a regular newsletter which contains articles on various aspects of the local history of the city. Over the years the society has acquired a vast collection of books, documents, maps, photographs and other sources of Sunderland's local history. These may be looked at during our research mornings.

If you have any queries at all about membership or information from the archives our secretary will be only too pleased to assist. Contact Philip Curtis email: P11cur@sky.com or Tel: 07931842745

Membership is open to all and if you wish to join the Sunderland Antiquarian Society the subscription for one year is £20 (individual) or £25 for husband/wife or two people at the same address. Visitors to the archives/talks must pay a cover charge of £1. On joining, the latest newsletter will be forwarded to you. You may join on-line by going to the MEMBERSHIP page. Alternatively you can send your subscription to Linda King, 3 Woodside, Sunderland, SR2 7ET email: sunderlandantiquarians@yahoo.co.uk If paying by cheque please make cheque payable to Sunderland Antiquarian Society.

Members have exclusive access to the Members Area of this website and we have now began to upload articles, features, photographs and our newsletters into this area. Already included are:

  • Sunderland Pubs
  • Southwick's Stately Homes
  • Josephs
  • Sunderland Street Name Origins
  • John Street
  • Villiers Street
  • History of Redby Junior School
  • Redby School photographs
  • Mackie's Corner
  • Southwick 1831-1881
  • Strawberry Cottage
  • Bainbridge Holme
  • Places of Worship
  • The Babbies
  • Coronation Street
  • Sunderland Empire
  • St.Andrew's Church
  • Rain's Eye Plan c.1795
  • Jack Crawford- Sunderland's Hero
  • A Few Notes on High Street
  • Sunderland Co-operative Society
  • Rowland Burdon
  • Penshaw Monument
  • Benedict Biscop
  • Bishopwearmouth Rectory
  • The Athenaeum
  • Sunderland' first Theatre and Music Hall
  • A Policeman's Lot
  • Lost Shops of Sunderland
  • Monkwearmouth Station
  • Roker and Seaburn Images
  • East End Markets
  • Peggy Potts - A Smuggler in the Family?
  • Souter Lighthouse
  • A Stroll Around Edwardian Sunderland
  • The First Decade of the Society
  • Sunderland AFC in 1950s - photographic journey
  • Health in 19th Century Sunderland
  • Aspects of Sunderland's Architecture 1829-1879
  • Changing Face of Bonnersfield and Sheepfolds
  • Past Newsletters packed with articles and photographs
  • Sunderland AFC Match Reports 1949-1950 (11 seasons)

Each week we will be adding new articles for Members to access so why not join now and receive your exclusive password to allow your access to the Members Only area.


  • President: Mr D.W. Smith, 7 Crow Lane, Middle Herrington, Sunderland, SR3 3TE Tel: 01915220517
  • Vice President: Mr. R. Lawson
  • Hon. Vice President: Mrs C. Davison
  • Secretary/Webmaster: Mr P. Curtis, 14 Park Parade, Roker, Sunderland, SR6 9LU Tel: 07931842745 email: p11cur@sky.com
  • Treasurer: Mrs Linda King, 3 Woodside, Sunderland SR2 7ET
  • Librarian: Mrs. Anne Jones
  • Image Archivists: Mr R. Lawson, Mrs B. Ludvigsen
  • Donations Secretary: Mr R. Davison, 
  • Council Members: Mr. W. Hawkins, Mr. C. Metcalf, Mr R. Dobson, Mr. T. Thorne, Mr. Ivor Hunt, Mr. Barry Stewart, Mrs S. Donnelly, Mr. B. Wildish