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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 last 50 years. 

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Heritage Collections

The Oriental Museum is part of Durham University’s Heritage Collections together with the other museums, archives and special collections.

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Don't miss

Dressed to Impress: netsuke and Japanese men's fashion

9 December 2016 - 21 May 2017

The Egyptian Gallery

Permanent Gallery

Family activities

Every Saturday