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Special Collections

Special Collections

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

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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.


Restricted access to books in Bishop Cosin’s Library, 2016-17

During the academic year 2016-17 Durham University is undertaking a refurbishment project in the Exchequer Buildings within Palace Green Library. This work is a continuation of the multi-million pound programme of work at Palace Green Library. It will restore and refurbish the medieval Exchequer Building and enable greater public access in future, via guided tours. It will however, also place severe restrictions on access to the adjacent Bishop Cosin’s Library.

It will not be possible to retrieve books in response to research requests between 1st September 2016 and completion of the works, anticipated to be sometime in July 2017.

Collections affected are:

Please note that Cosin Letter Books and Cosin manuscripts are not affected by these access restrictions as they are permanently located elsewhere within Palace Green Library.

In order to enable some access to material during this period and to minimise the impact on researchers, we can make arrangements to relocate individual volumes where there is a need for access to copy-specific items.

We request that any researchers seeking access to material contact us before 26th August 2016, with information about the individual volume(s) they wish to access and the reasons for their need for access to specific copy/ies.

For requests or any queries, please contact Judy Burg, Head of Archives and Special Collections, Palace Green Library, judy.burg@durham.ac.uk

Time Machines: the past, the future, and how stories take us there
Sunday 28th May 2017 - Tuesday 27th June 2017, 12:00am - 11:59pm, Palace Green Library
Fun Flags
Sunday 28th May 2017, 12:00am - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Book Club
Tuesday 30th May 2017, 5:00pm - 6:00pm, Palace Green Library
Military Plumes and pompoms
Saturday 3rd June 2017 - Sunday 4th June 2017, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Little Bookworms
Monday 5th June 2017, 10:30am - 11:30am, Palace Green Library
Time Machines: Talks Programme
Wednesday 7th June 2017, 1:00pm - 2:00pm, Learning Centre, Palace Green Library
Future Portraits
Saturday 10th June 2017 - Sunday 11th June 2017, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Little Bookworms
Monday 12th June 2017, 10:30am - 11:30am, Palace Green Library
Time Machines: Film Screenings
Monday 12th June 2017, 6:00pm, Gala Theatre, Durham
Time Machines: Talks Programme
Wednesday 14th June 2017, 1:00pm - 2:00pm, Learning Centre, Palace Green Library
Growth and inequality: four decades of transformation in Sudan
Thursday 15th June 2017, 12:00pm, Sir James Knott Hall, Trevelyan College, Dr Edward Thomas
Father’s Day
Saturday 17th June 2017 - Sunday 18th June 2017, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Little Bookworms
Monday 19th June 2017, 10:30am - 11:30am, Palace Green Library
Time Machines: Talks Programme
Monday 19th June 2017, 6:00pm - 8:00pm, Learning Centre, Palace Green Library
Time Machines: Film Screenings
Tuesday 20th June 2017, 6:00pm, Gala Theatre, Durham
Time Machines: Time Travellers
Thursday 22nd June 2017, 6:00pm - 9:00pm, Palace Green Library
Terrific Time Machines
Saturday 24th June 2017 - Sunday 25th June 2017, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Little Bookworms
Monday 26th June 2017, 10:30am - 11:30am, Palace Green Library
Book Club
Tuesday 27th June 2017, 5:00am - 6:00am, Palace Green Library

Growth and inequality: four decades of transformation in Sudan

Sir James Knott Hall, Trevelyan College, 15 June 2017, 12:00-13:00

The 2017 Sir William Luce public lecture will be delivered by Sudan specialist Dr Edward Thomas in the Sir James Knott Hall, Trevelyan College, on 15 June at 12:00.

(17 May 2017)


Time Machines: the past, the future, and how stories take us there

Exhibition logo: Time Machines: the past, the future, and how stories take us there

Palace Green Library, 27 May - 3 September 2017

How big is time? And what will the future be like?

The sheer enormity of time is a mind-bending concept - one which humans have always tried to measure and understand. Step through a portal and journey through time as we reveal how advances in science allowed authors to create stories that transport us to the distant past, parallel universes, and future worlds.

See H.G. Wells’s original manuscript for The Time Machine, unravel other stories which play with time, and find out how stories help us to make sense of time and our place within it.

(22 Mar 2017)



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