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Special Collections

Special Collections

Image of Barker Research Library Search Room
Designated as an Outstanding Collection logo


Founded in 1833 and occupying listed buildings within the Durham World Heritage site, Durham University's Palace Green Library houses archives, early printed books and other special collections. These include:

  • Over 70,000 books printed before 1850 including 300 incunables
  • Over 100 medieval manuscripts
  • 3,400 metres of archives and artefacts
  • Over 30,000 maps and prints and 100,000 photographs

We are open to anyone needing to consult our collections once they have registered with us. Registration here involves completing a form, providing proofs of identity and agreeing to abide by the Library's rules (please contact us if you require further information on this)

Two of the University Library's special collections were awarded Designated status in 2005 in the first round of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council Designation Scheme.

Everyone's History: 20 years of the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the Treasure Act
Sunday 25th February 2018 - Tuesday 27th March 2018, 12:00am - 11:59pm, Museum of Archaeology
Tiny Fairy Furniture
Sunday 25th February 2018, 12:00am - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Little Bookworms
Monday 26th February 2018, 10:30am - 11:30am, Palace Green Library
Scales of Justice!
Saturday 3rd March 2018 - Sunday 4th March 2018, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Lucet Weaving
Saturday 10th March 2018 - Sunday 11th March 2018, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Heroic Hopes
Saturday 17th March 2018 - Sunday 18th March 2018, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Beautiful Books
Saturday 24th March 2018 - Sunday 25th March 2018, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library

access information

Contact details

Special Collections
Palace Green Library
Palace Green
United Kingdom
: +44 (0)191 334 2972