Welcome to the Sunderland Antiquarian Society

Established in 1900 we are the oldest history society in Sunderland


SOME DETAILS OF THE ARCHIVES which are held at our Antiquarian and Heritage Centre, 6 Douro Terrace, Sunderland, are listed below. These can be viewed by Members and visitors on Wednesday and Saturday mornings 9.30-noon. The Society now publishes articles and photographs for its members on the Members Only area of this website. If you would like to become a member you can register here.

1851 for Bishopwearrnouth and Monkwearmouth; 1861 for Southwick.
Parish Registers/Bishop's Transcripts:
Some printed PRs. Original Presbyterian Registers for Malings Rigg Chapel, Sunderland; and Sessions Books, etc., Fir Presbyterian Chapels now amalgamated into United Reformed Church.
Files on various places in Sunderland area. Generally indexing is ongoing, with still much work to do. Street/Trade/Commercial Directories: Most of the printed directories. Wills/Probate Records: The River Wear Commissioners Transfer Deeds record much Probate detail. These are indexed but mostly cover well-to-do people. Some 18c & 19c wills are amongst the Indentures. School Records: Some general records - e.g. Bede School journals and photos.
Extensive collection from 18c to OS maps, inc. detailed maps of port, harbour & town.
Modern Day OS Maps:
Full set for North-East of England.
Hearth Tax Returns:
For Sunderland.
Collection covering Sunderland and area (at present being indexed). Several shipbuilding & marine journals available. Apprentice/Freeman Records: Collection of apprenticeships documents. Protestation Oath Returns: For Sunderland.
Every Sunderland Daily Echo 1874 - 1975 (a few gaps in early 1920s but otherwise we have a copy of every edition, including all the Football Echoes).  We also hold negatives of many thousands of Echo photographs, Work continues  on digitising them for easy access.
Military Records:
Some late 18c (Volunteers) documents; WW/I & WW/[I material for Sunderland area.
Title Deeds/Mortgages:
Collection of property deeds and indentures from l8c & 19c
Tithe/Enclosure Awards:
Bishopwearmouth tithe accounts.
Other Poor Law Records:
Overseers Accounts and other misc. records.
Pedigree Collections:
Our ‘Continuing Corder" Project is at present collecting Sunderland Pedigrees. We accept any pedigree researches with gratitude for future generations.
Heraldic Records:
Collection of North East brass rubbings and seals.
Local History Literature:
Very large library for Sunderland & district. Most ‘classics' concerning the history of NBL and DUR (Archaeologia Aeliana, Surtees Society, etc). Some rare volumes and MSS - old and modern of Sunderland area.
Collection of posters and bills for Co. Durham elections (I 800s); Pew Rents; Doxford Shipping Archive (photos, news books & details of ship launches & workmen); River Wear Commissioners files l900-70s; photographic collection: material from 18c on keelmen, shipping, harbour, lighthouses, etc.; large collection of North-East Methodist material (1 8c onwards); Presbyterian church material for Sunderland; collections on football, transport, employment, laundry, law & order, shipping firms, papermaking, glassmaking, mining, bridges, politics, elections (local & national from 18c onwards), bill-headings, etc..