New exhibition at Palace Green Library to celebrate culmination of major conservation project
(2 July 2012)
Durham University is celebrating the end of a major conservation project at Bishop Cosin’s Library on Palace Green with an exhibition outlining the achievements of the Library‘s original founder, former Bishop of Durham, John Cosin.
The conservation of the Library has taken two years of painstaking work at a cost of £350,000 and the library will continue the tradition of public access which has been in place since it was first established in 1669.
To celebrate this event, an exhibition called “RESTORATION: Bishop Cosin, his library and the changing face of Durham” will illustrate the life of the Library’s founder. It will be the first exhibition in Palace Green Library’s new Dunelm Gallery, which is set to host The Lindisfarne Gospels in 2013.
Bishop Cosin was a prominent figure in the seventeenth century; an ally of King Charles I, he was exiled during the Civil War. After the restoration of the monarchy, he was appointed Bishop of Durham by Charles II, a position that held considerable power.
In Durham he embarked on major construction and restoration projects, including the building of his library on Palace Green. Cosin was a lifelong book-collector and books from his collection are still housed in the library. Some of these books will be on show during the exhibition.
The exhibition will celebrate Cosin's life and achievements through the difficult years of the English Civil War and into the Restoration period when as Bishop of Durham he made changes to the city which can still be seen over 300 years later.
The opening of the Dunelm Gallery is a milestone in the University’s major development project at Palace Green Library. £10m is being invested by Durham University, including generous funding from alumni and charitable foundations, in redeveloping Palace Green Library. The aim is to improve opportunities for study and scholarship, and to create world-class exhibition and visitor space, including the existing Wolfson Gallery, opened in 2011, as well as the new Dunelm Gallery.
In addition to the work at Palace Green Library, the University has also extended the main Library on Stockton Road, resulting in a 42 per cent increase in its size. As part of the same project, there will also be a new Durham Law School and the Palatine Centre which will bring together student support services such as Counselling Services, Services for Students with Disabilities, the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre, and the Academic and International Offices. This redevelopment, including the main library extension, is costing £48million.
The exhibition will be on show from Saturday 30 June through to Autumn 2012 in Durham University’s prestigious new Dunelm Gallery. Palace Green Library exhibitions are open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am to 4.45pm, and entrance to Cosin’s Library will be from 11am-12noon and 2pm-3pm from Tuesdays to Sundays.