Sunderland's history books to be opened once again as library centre welcomes back visitors

Sunderland’s archives are accessible once again after the city’s Local History Library @ ETR reopened its doors thanks to the easing of the lockdown rules.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 5:24 pm

The service, which launched the month before the first lockdown, will now be open from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Created inside the former Elephant Tea Rooms and bank, on the corner of Fawcett Street and High Street West, the library holds information on all aspects of the city’s history and heritage, including thousands of images, maps and access to historical newspapers, such as copies of the Sunderland Echo dating back to 1831.

Read More

Read More
14 photos inside the transformed Elephant Tearooms as it becomes home to Sunderl...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Local History Library @ Elephant Tea Rooms, pictured here after it first opened, is now welcoming back visitors.

A programme of events is lined up to start in the summer, with activities suitable for all ages such as creative sessions, dementia and reminiscence workshops and a programme to support health and wellbeing.

Sunderland City Council, which runs the centre, says library staff with an in-depth knowledge of the collections manage the facility and can support with inquiries such as helping with family trees, finding information on neighbourhoods and sourcing news articles from the past.

Councillor Linda Williams, the council’s cabinet member for Vibrant City, said: “It was sad to see the city’s newest cultural offering, The Local History Library @ETR have to close its doors so soon after it first opened, so I am delighted to see it reopen and welcome more visitors.

“The Local History Library plays an important role in recording and preserving our city’s history, and it is fantastic to see that visitors will once again be able to access this fantastic venue.”

Anyone who would like further information about the centre’s news and details of forthcoming exhibitions and events can visit

The site also offers information about the arrangements the council has put place to ensure people are kept safe during their visit.

Support your Echo and become a subscriber today.

Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest on SAFC and new puzzles every day.

With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.