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What's Here


Palace Green Library houses Durham University's archives, early printed books and other special collections. There are:

  • Over 70,000 books printed before 1850 including 300 incunables
  • Over 100 Medieval manuscripts
  • 3,400 metres of archives and artefacts
  • Over 30,000 maps and prints and 100,000 photographs

Palace Green Library is home to a number of historic libraries and contemporary galleries.

Durham University also holds special collections at the Oriental Museum and the Museum of Archaeology.

Find out more about our collections and search the catalogues


The First World War was a conflict that involved enormous technological advances, very much contrary to the popular view which tends to view it as four years of static trench warfare and slaughter. Aerial photography advanced massively, as did the aircraft that carried the cameras, and by 1918 thousands of photographs were produced daily and used to draw and update maps and to plan operations on the ground. We look this month at an example of such aerial photography from the collection of W.D. Lowe, who commanded 18th Durham Light Infantry in 1918.

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Harold MacMichael joined the Sudan Political Service in 1905 and spent the next three decades in the Sudan, before his career took him to Tanganyika and Palestine. His diaries and papers offer fascinating insights into colonial and Sudanese culture, and the administrative training of the period, and include material on the 1916 Darfur campaign and the Paris Peace Conference.

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Don't miss

Bodies of Evidence: How science unearthed Durham’s dark secret

9 June - 7 October 2018