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About Us


‘The Orient’ is not an area with defined geographical boundaries. The term can mean widely differing things to different people. In the case of the Oriental Museum, the definition is a wide one indeed, with the collections covering a huge area from North Africa to South East Asia. This is the legacy of the origins or the Oriental Museum in the teaching of oriental languages at Durham University.

History of the Museum

The museum celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2010. Opened in 1960 to support university teaching and research, the museum’s role has changed enormously over the years.

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International Partnerships

The Oriental Museum plays an important part in a number of major international projects at Durham University working with museums and universities across Asia.

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