This series consists of the crown minute books of the Northern Circuit before 1876, and of the North-Eastern Circuit after that date and until 1944. It also contains the civil minute books of the North- Eastern Circuit from 1938 to 1971, in addition two pieces in this series are in fact gaol books. There is a Durham minute book 1858 to 1871 in this series.
Crown minute books relate to criminal proceedings, civil minute books to civil proceedings.
Crown minute books supply the name of the accused, the substance of the charge, the plea, the verdict and sentence, and, before the twentieth century, the names of jurors, both grand and petty. Some of the earliest crown minute books in the series also include minutes of recognizances taken in court, inquisitions certified, and indictments.
The civil minute books in this series relate to civil cases that originated in the High Court and were referred to the justices of assizes. The minute books supply the names of the plaintiff and defendant, their solicitors and barristers, the cause of the action and the verdict or other result.