Material for modern historians
Modern British, European and American archives, books and sources
Durham has a rich collection of British material, including the Empire and Commonwealth, as well as archives and other resources relating to Europe and America.
- The Earl Grey Family Papers, a major source for 18th century British military history and 19th and 20th century political, colonial, and diplomatic history (inc. Canada, East Africa and South Africa). There is also much material on modern social history.
- Ecclesiastical records, including those of Durham cathedral and Durham diocese
- Durham Probate records
- A wide range of family and personal papers which include national and local politics, private correspondence, estate records and information about trade, mining and business. They include the papers of Malcolm MacDonald son of Prime Minister Ramsey MacDonald.
- History of the North East, including the papers of John James (Jack) Lawson, Baron Lawson (1881-1965), Durham miners' leader, M.P. and cabinet minister.
- The History of Science Collection, which contains c. 1000 early and rare scientific books, 16th-20th centuries (mainly 18th-19th centuries)
We have a wide range of electronic bibliographic, reference and full-text resources including Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), The Burney Collection of seventeenth and eighteenth century newspapers, parliamentary papers from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, a wide range of nineteenth and twentieth century newspapers and journals from Britain, Europe, America and Australia (including The Times and The Economist), The British Cartoon Archive (BCAD), The Carlyle Letters and Genesis (women's history in the British Isles),
We also have:
- Mass Observation Online, one of the most important archives for the study of social history between 1937 and 1972, including essays, photographs, file reports, diaries and day surveys.
- Newsfilm Online, 3,000 hours of television news and cinema newsreels, taken from the huge collection of the ITN/Reuters archive, the Gaumont, Universal, British Paramount and Empire News Bulletin newsreels.
- The Thatcher Foundation, a searchable collection of over 8,000 speeches and other statements, with full texts of many, as well as over 1,000 other documents relating to Margaret Thatcher's personal and political life.
- The American Presidency Project which includes public papers, annual messages to Congress, inaugural addresses, radio addresses, acceptance speeches, presidential candidates debates, party platforms, elections data, and an audio/video archive.
Our microfilm holdings include a large collection of Cabinet Papers, Prime Ministerial papers (inc. Pitt the Younger, Peel and Melbourne), archives of the Conservative and Labour Parties and the Trades Union Congress, and collections relating to the Reform Crisis, Chartism and modern Ireland.
Durham Cathedral Library
The Cathedral Library houses the Meissen Library of the German Protestant church in nineteenth and twentieth century.