Skip to main content

Search Our Collections

Use Discover to search all the books, archives and other resources available within Durham University Library and Collections.

The Archives and Special Collections are catalogued at two different levels of detail.

  • All the collections are described in individual brief collection guides, which summarise their contents, availability and how to find out more information about them.
  • Most collections are also described in detailed catalogues, describing their contents item by item.

The collection guides can be searched using Discover.

The catalogues can be searched in different ways according to their format.

  • Discover is the best starting point for searches of all our printed special collections. Manuscript and archive collections, museum objects and art collections are also available in this system (individual entries within Discover include a link to the archive catalogue).
  • The online archive catalogue is most useful for providing a context for your search results as they are displayed within the catalogue of the collection of which they are a part. Being able to see where the material is located within the collection can give broader information about its significance or may reveal similar items stored with it that could also be investigated.

Content and language warning

We make our collections accessible to all for the purposes of academic and community research, and provide catalogues to them online. In accordance with standard professional practice our catalogues will reflect the language of the collection and of its original creators; additionally, the catalogues may have been written many years ago when the collection was first received by the university. Voices, objects and images from the past can display attitudes, opinions and relate to events which may be viewed as biased and offensive in today’s society. Other voices are not present. We are committed to listening to all communities and welcome your engagement. If you wish to contact us about any language used in our catalogues or about any particular item in our collections please make a note of that item's reference number or shelf-mark and contact us.

If you need help interpreting our catalogues or looking for information within the collections, you can contact us through our live chat service or by emailing