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Durham University

Colleges & wider student experience

Student news

Explore our historic archives online

(5 October 2020)

Bishop Cosin's Library

We’re excited to announce a new way that you can explore highlights from our archives and collections, even during Covid-19. 

‘Treasures of Palace Green Library’

Treasures of Palace Green Library is an online exhibition, featuring 11 historic items from our collections.

It’s available to view online, free of charge.

What’s included?

There are items from across the Centuries and around the world:

- One of the world’s oldest printed books

- The Durham copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, from 1623

- A 2nd Century letter from Roman-occupied Egypt;

- Plus nine other items we hope you’ll enjoy learning about.

About Palace Green Library

It stands between Durham Castle and Durham Cathedral – still in the building where it was founded in 1669.

The founder was John Cosin, then Bishop of Durham.

It’s home to 100,000 books and over 100 medieval manuscripts.

Collections include the internationally significant Sudan Archive, containing the papers of former officials, soldiers, missionaries, business men and individuals who served or lived in the Sudan during the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium period (1898-1955).

There are also papers from Malcolm MacDonald, a 20th Century politician and diplomat, and the Basil Bunting Poetry Archive, from the 20th Century British modernist poet.

History at Durham

Did you know that we're part of the Durham Castle and Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Site?

And our History Department was ranked third in the UK in The Complete University Guide 2021.

How can I visit the online exhibition?

You can view the exhibition now, here.

And if something sparks your interest, many of our collections have now been digitised, so you can delve deeper through our online catalogue.