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Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Research Collections and Museums

Durham is home to many unique and significant research collections

The Durham World Heritage Site comprising the great Norman and later Cathedral and Castle is also home to major research holdings held in Durham Cathedral and the University's Palace Green Library. Collections include medieval manuscript collections and a medieval monastic archive which are hard to parallel in their completeness, as well as rich collections of early printed books.

Durham possesses the finest collection of medieval manuscripts of any English cathedral and Durham University, in partnership with Durham Cathedral, is embarking on an ambitious project to digitise the original Priory Library of Durham Cathedral. The Durham Priory Library Recreated initiative is aimed at re-uniting the whole collection online, providing readers with a unique opportunity to explore the concept of the medieval library and the life of a Benedictine priory.

The heritage collections within Durham City also include the artefacts belonging to the University’s Museum of Archaeology, where a key area of the collection relates principally to Medieval and Post Medieval Durham and includes large amounts of leatherwork (11th – 15th century), very early textiles, bone, wood and pottery.

The Oriental Museum, another jewel in Durham’s crown, is the only museum in the North of Britain devoted entirely to the art and archaeology from Western Asia to Japan. The Museum’s Chinese and Egyptian collections are among the finest to be found anywhere in Britain.

Other Durham Resources include:

Durham University’s Bill Bryson Library

Ushaw College

Ushaw College Residential Research Library

Auckland Castle

The Bowes Museum

Durham County Record Office