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Special Collections


Wood Bequest project

This project has been funded through a bequest of Mrs Kathleen Wood, a former official of the Sudan Education Department. Mrs Wood's generous bequest has enabled the university to appoint two archivists for two years to tackle the growing backlog of uncatalogued material in the Sudan Archive. These online catalogues will open up access to hidden collections of international importance for the benefit of researchers worldwide.

Sudan Archive Digitisation Project

 This project has been funded by JISC to start the digitisation of one of our major collections, the Sudan Archive. This year-long project will digitise a range of material from the collection, concentrating on a variety of the most heavily used material. It will provide free online access to the large sheet maps and government reports that form part of the official record of the Condominium period, and investigate the tasks involved in digitising papers from personal archives.

North East Inheritance

The North East Inheritance project has created an online catalogue of over 150,000 wills and related archives (parts of the Durham Probate Records collection), from across County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland. The wills date from the 16th Century to the mid 19th Century (1858) and many are accompanied by inventories of the goods belonging to the deceased. They represent almost all the surviving wills and inventories proved within the region during the period, and provide an invaluable insight into North East people and communities, their family relationships, trades and lifestyles. The project is part funded with a £274,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


4schools is Durham University Library's education zone. It aims to promote the study of the past by encouraging the use of primary source material. Using books and manuscript material dating back to the fifteenth century 4schools allows students and teachers to investigate key historical events and discover what life was like in the past.

Pictures in Print

A collaborative project sponsored by the British Library Co-operation and Partnership Programme and NEMLAC to create a union catalogue, with viewable images, of printed maps and topographical prints of County Durham created before 1860 held by Durham University Library, Durham County Library, Durham Cathedral Library, Sunderland Museum, Sunderland City Library and the British Library.

For more information about projects that the whole Univeristy Library is involved in please look at the Projects page.

In Palace Green Search Room