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Discover our collections

Temporary change to Discover for museum and archive collections

From 1 August, our online database for museum and archive collections will be available through a temporary version of Discover, due to the work required for the migration to our new and improved search system.

• To search our online database for museum and archive collections, please use the Discover search box above
• For all other items, including our library collections, please visit

For more information, visit our website.

How to Use

Select 'Museums and Collections' in the search box above and you will obtain results from all of Durham University's Museums, Archives and Special Collections and departmental collections.

When your results appear look for the second drop down box marked 'Museums and collections' to the right of the first in the search box. Click here and select 'Durham museums' and your results will be narrowed to exclude archives and departmental collections. Alternatively use the 'Refine my results' box on the right to select 'objects' or if you are searching for photographs or other visual works select 'images'.

More than 51,000 object records from across the Oriental Museum, Museum of Archaeology, Durham Castle and the University Art Collection are included on the database. Just over 38,000 of these objects have been photographed. If you wish to refine your search to only select those objects with photographs, use the 'Refine my Results' section on the right hand side of the results page and under 'Availability' select 'Full text online'. This will narrow your results to only those objects with images.

We are constantly working to improve our database and new records and images are added regularly. The database is updated overnight every night to ensure that the most up-to-date information is always available.

Users are asked to bear in mind that this is a working database and not a finished catalogue. Thus not all the entries are complete and many contain a variety of errors, from typos to misidentifications. It should also be noted that the Museums use the database to preserve all the information ever recorded about our collections, including details that are now known to be incorrect.

Some objects from our collections are also available to view online via external resources. These can be found under ‘Related Links’ on the right hand side of this page.

If you require more detailed information on our collections please look at the researching the collections section of this website.