Newcastle has the largest independent library outside London (10/12)

Founded in 1793 (more than 50 years before the London Library) ‘the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne‘ (also called the Lit & Phil library) is a historical library and is the largest independent library outside of London. 

The Lit and Phil is the place where famous engineer and inventor George Stephenson showed his miners safety lamp, and also it is where in 1879 Joseph Swan demonstrated his electric lightbulbs, making the Lit and Phil the first public building to be illuminated by the electric bulb.

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