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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. There 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.

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.


On Seeing the Author: Portraits in Libraries from Antiquity to the Present
Sunday 26th April 2015, 12:00am - 5:00pm, History of the Book Gallery
Vietnam: A Nation not a War
Sunday 26th April 2015, 12:00am - 5:00pm, Dennyson Stoddart Gallery
Who do you think they are?
Sunday 26th April 2015, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Little Bookworms
Monday 27th April 2015, 10:30am - 11:30am, Wolfson Gallery
Volunteering information session
Monday 27th April 2015, 4:00pm - 6:00pm, Palace Green Library
Volunteering information session
Friday 1st May 2015, 10:00am - 12:00pm, Palace Green Library
May Day Madness
Saturday 2nd May 2015, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
May Day Madness
Sunday 3rd May 2015, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Mapping the Ends of the Earth in European and Islamic Traditions
Tuesday 5th May 2015, 5:30pm, Learning Centre, Dr Alfred Hiatt
Volunteering information session
Saturday 9th May 2015, 10:00am - 12:00pm, Palace Green Library
Joking Jesters with Seven Stories
Saturday 9th May 2015, 11:00am - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Joking Jesters with Seven Stories
Sunday 10th May 2015, 11:00am - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Little Bookworms
Monday 11th May 2015, 10:30am - 11:30am, Wolfson Gallery
Marvellous Mosaics
Saturday 16th May 2015, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Life on the Somme: the German experience
Saturday 16th May 2015, 2:30pm, Learning Centre, Alastair Fraser
Marvellous Mosaics
Sunday 17th May 2015, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Little Bookworms
Monday 18th May 2015, 10:30am - 11:30am, Wolfson Gallery
How to do Things with Fur: Medieval Art and the Matter of ‘The Animal’
Tuesday 19th May 2015, 5:30pm, Learning Centre, Dr Robert Mills
Prehistoric Pictures
Saturday 23rd May 2015, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library
Prehistoric Pictures
Sunday 24th May 2015, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, Palace Green Library

Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt

Poster image for the Magna Carta exhibition.

Palace Green Library, 1 June-31 August 2015

Marking the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, this special exhibition will feature the only surviving 1216 issue of the charter.

Magna Carta was first sealed in 1215 by King John. The concession it has come to represent – that all authority can be limited by law – was extracted from the king by a group of barons who chose political engagement over passive obedience. As such they were acting no longer as loyal subjects, but as rebellious citizens.

(10 Apr 2015) » Find out more about: Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt


On Seeing the Author: Portraits in Libraries from Antiquity to the Present

New exhibition opening 30 January 2015

For millennia, people watching plays, listening to songs and poetry, and reading books have understood that an author was responsible for the words they are experiencing. Thinking about the author has always been important in thinking about the words themselves. The Living Poets research project in Durham University’s Classics and Ancient History Department explores how people have imagined ancient authors over time. It also considers how readers and listeners imagine authors look, as a way of thinking about their works.

(19 Jan 2015) » Find out more about: On Seeing the Author


Vietnam: A Nation not a War

New exhibition opening 30 January 2015

This exhibition mixes historic and contemporary objects from Vietnam with contemporary works by British artist Anthony Key to explore national identity, migration, cultural diversity, faith and belonging in Vietnam. Building on research currently being undertaken at Durham University, the exhibition looks beyond stereotypes and familiar associations with the Vietnam War to bring the Vietnamese nation and its diverse ethnic groups to life for the visitor.

(19 Jan 2015) » Find out more about: Vietnam: A Nation not a War



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