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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.


Somme 1916: From Durham to the Western Front
Friday 29th April 2016 - Sunday 29th May 2016, 12:00am - 11:59pm, Palace Green Library
May Day Doodles
Saturday 30th April 2016 - Sunday 1st May 2016, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Kings Crowns
Saturday 7th May 2016 - Sunday 8th May 2016, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Little Bookworms
Monday 9th May 2016, 10:30am - 11:30am, Wolfson Gallery
Somme 1916: Talks Programme
Wednesday 11th May 2016, 1:00pm - 2:00pm, Palace Green Library
Memorial Plaque
Saturday 14th May 2016 - Sunday 15th May 2016, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Little Bookworms
Monday 16th May 2016, 10:30am - 11:30am, Wolfson Gallery
Fun with Flags
Saturday 21st May 2016 - Sunday 22nd May 2016, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Book Club
Saturday 21st May 2016, 5:00pm - 6:00pm, Palace Green Library
Little Bookworms
Monday 23rd May 2016, 10:30am - 11:30am, Wolfson Gallery
Somme 1916: Talks Programme
Wednesday 25th May 2016, 1:00pm - 2:00pm, Palace Green Library
Funky Photographs
Saturday 28th May 2016 - Sunday 29th May 2016, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library

Somme 1916: from Durham to the Western Front

Banner image: Somme 1916 exhibition at Palace Green Library, Durham University 25 March-2 October 2016

Palace Green Library, 25 March–2 October 2016

100 years on, this commemorative exhibition will explore the reality of the Battle of the Somme through the eyes of the people from County Durham who were there.

(9 Mar 2016) » Find out more about: Somme 1916: from Durham to the Western Front


Cathedral Library antiquarian and music collections

The cathedral library's music and antiquarian collections, (Surtees, Raine, Randall, Allan, Longstaffe, Sharp, Hunter), have now been returned from Palace Green Library to the cathedral's care, and consequently will no longer be available for consultation in the Barker Research Library. News on when they will again become available for research purposes will be published on the cathedral library's website.

(16 Feb 2016)


North East England Tourism Awards 2015

On Tuesday 24 November 2015, our summer exhibition, Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt snapped up two awards at the North East England Tourism Awards 2015.

(9 Dec 2015) » Find out more about: North East England Tourism Awards 2015



access information

Contact details

Special Collections
Palace Green Library
Palace Green
DURHAM
DH1 3RN
United Kingdom
Tel
: +44 (0)191 334 2972
Email: pg.library@durham.ac.uk