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Welcome to
Palace Green

Palace Green Library, in the heart of Durham city, holds Durham University's special collections and is also home to the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre and the historic Cosin’s Library. Our galleries are open to all and display treasures spanning millennia and the globe.

Visit our webpages for more information on visiting us and booking free tickets for Cosin’s Library.

Access to Archives and Special Collections at Palace Green Library is by appointment only.

Learn more about us

What's On View all events

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Enjoy our temporary special exhibition exploring the rich prehistoric and Roman archaeology of Durham

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Cosin’s Library is one of the earliest public libraries in the North East of England. Hidden in the heart of Durham, the library was founded in 1669 by Bishop John Cosin to give local people access to ‘good books’.

Enjoy the splendour of this 17th-century Library in the heart of Durham's World Heritage Site.


Another informative and well presented exhibition which told the story of the Somme through the experiences of numerous local people.


The collections within this library have kept me entranced for hours, and it frequently hosts the best historical exhibitions in the north east.


Great exhibitions are held here. There is a quiet cafe which is useful for catching breath and plotting your next walk.



Great exhibitions are held here. There is a quiet cafe which is useful for catching breath and plotting your next walk.





Palace Green Library is open Monday-Sunday between 10am-5pm, with late-night opening until 7pm on Thursdays (excluding Barker Research Library).

Cosin’s Library is open Wednesday to Sunday between 11am-3pm, plus Bank Holidays (excluding Christmas and New Year).

Currently, we are offering free entry to all our visitors.

You can pre-book a timeslot to visit Cosin’s Library or to visit during our Thursday late-night opening.

The Special Collections can currently be accessed Monday-Friday 10am-5pm. We recommend making an appointment.


Our archives include parish registers, marriage licences and probate records. If you’re researching your family history, explore our collections and plan your visit.

View our family and local history records


Book a visit to Palace Green Library with the 4schools team to explore primary sources from our archives and discover more about Durham’s fascinating history.

Find out more