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Durham University

Special Collections

Special Collections catalogues

Durham University Library's Archives and Special Collections contain many collections in many formats. Generally printed material has been catalogued in the Library catalogue and archive and manuscript collections in the Archive catalogue. Both of these catalogues can be searched separately and now they have also been combined with the catalogue of the University's museums and online resources subscribed to by the University so that all material can be searched in a single interface - Discover.


Durham University's collections discovery system Discover is extremely powerful, enabling searching across a whole range of resources including our own special collections. The greatest strengths that it offers are cross-searching between different collections - archives, museums, online journals and many others - and it is an excellent starting point for general searching. It can return a vast set of results though, so it is important to be able to understand what those results are and how to filter out the less relevant and focus on what will be most useful for you. In almost all cases, Discover contains the catalogue entries to be found in the Library and Archive catalogues, making it the single most comprehensive place to start searching.


Each collection in Durham University's archive and manuscript collections is organised into an order that reflects its structure and then catalogued by listing and describing each part. This produces long documents that not only describe files and documents but also contain information about the relationship between those documents that can help in understanding them. To enable this, searching the archive catalogues will show you the number of times your search term appears in a catalogue, take you into the whole catalogue and enable you to step through the search hits.

Simple search: DUL special collections catalogues


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