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University Library

Access for visitors

Day Visitors

As a day visitor you will be asked for identification. This should be photographic such as a driving licence which shows your address or passport with a utility bill as proof of your address. Refer to our information for visitors for details of what kind of identification you will be required to provide.

If you are a regular visitor, check the categories below to see what kind of library membership you may be entitled to.

Academic Visitors

Undergraduates, Postgraduates and Staff

Staff and students from over 180 university and higher education institutions in the UK and Ireland may usually use our libraries as SCONUL Access visitors. Check the list of SCONUL Access member libraries to ensure your institution participates. Academic visitors from other Universities will be expected to show a valid University ID card from the University they attend.


Staff, research students, full-time postgraduates, and part-time, distance-learning, and placement students from participating institutions may borrow up to seven items at any one time. Items from our Short Loan Collection are not available for borrowing by visitors.

Although full-time undergraduates are not entitled to borrow as SCONUL Accessvisitors, they may still apply to have reference-only access to the University Library under the auspices of the SCONUL Access scheme.

Other Visitors

Charges are made for some of the following visitor categories details are in our Library charges document.

Corporate Members

Local Business, educational or charitable organisations who wish more than one person to become members of the Library can apply for corporate membership.

Please apply in writing to the University Librarian. Once an application is approved, the organisation will be invoiced. After payment has been received, named members will be issued with Campus Cards providing access to our libraries. Items from our Short Loan Collection are not available for borrowing by visitors.

Campus cards are not transferable and individuals are responsible for items issued to them.

County Durham and Tees Valley NHS staff

NHS staff working in County Durham and Tees Valley, including primary care staff, may register to use and borrow up to 7 items from Durham University Library. Items from our Short Loan Collection are not available for borrowing by visitors.

A recent payslip (last three months) or official letter of introduction should be presented as proof of employment, together with a recent utility bill for proof of address.


For users who wish to gain access to specific collections held in libraries in the North East.

Reference Readers and Subscription Borrowers

If you are not a University member and do not fit into any of the other categories listed you may apply to register as a Reference Reader or as a Subscription Borrower. Proof of identification is required in both cases, preferably photographic as well as a current utility bill as proof of address.

Reference Readers may use the Library, free-of-charge, with a visitor campus card. Subscription Borrowers pay a subscription charge, which is payable on collection of their visitor campus card and are able to borrow up to seven items at one time. Items from our Short Loan Collection are not available for borrowing by visitors.

Retired staff and Emeritus professors

This category of library visitors have visitor access and staff borrowing privileges.

Teachers in schools in partnership with the School of Education

Teachers in schools partnered with the School of Education can apply for borrowing privileges and a Campus card to access Leazes Road library. It is advised that initial visit is made during daytime hours. Access evenings and weekends is by Camopus Card from October 2015.

Teachers wanting to bring a group of students

If you are a teacher and want to bring a group of students to visit the Library, please visit the 4schools page and contact us. Y12 and Y13 students in local schools need to attend an induction programme and will be not be allowed unsupervised entry during October, April and May.

Pre-visit Contacts

Bill Bryson Library
Claire Smith
Telephone: 0191 334 2945
Leazes Road Library
Claire Smith
Telephone: 0191 334 2945
Palace Green Library
Search Room
Telephone: 0191 334 2972
Queen's Campus Library
Jane Hodgson
Telephone: 0191 334 0274