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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, the Palace Green Library of Durham University houses archives, early printed books and other special collections. There are:

  • 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

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. We are open to anyone needing to consult our collections once they have registered with us.

Saturday 26th April 2014, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Medieval Printing
Saturday 3rd May 2014, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Engraved Book Covers
Saturday 10th May 2014, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library

Building work at Palace Green Library, January - April 2014

Due to building work elsewhere on the Palace Green Library site to create an education room and a cafe, there may be background noise in the Barker Research Library until April 2014. We apologise for this and hope it will not disrupt your work.

(10 Mar 2014)

Contact details

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