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Durham University

Department of Philosophy


Durham Philosophy department is situated in the heart of a beautiful Cathedral City, and occupies three charming former townhouses on Old Elvet. It is surrounded by cafes, and restaurants and is a few minutes' walk from the scenic banks of the River Wear. Just along the road is the Dunn Cow pub -- where you can usually find a philosopher or two debating emergence, scientific realism or women in the history of philosophy.

We have a departmental library, common room and post-graduate study room, as well as our own garden.

The Tallentire Library

We are very fortunate to have our own departmental library. The library is a resource for all students reading degrees in the department and it has a wide variety of philosophy books, including back issues of journals and titles relevant to the history and philosophy of science and medicine. It is run by a team of undergraduate students, who oversee borrowing, cataloguing, and who organise study events and discussion groups.

The Tallentire Library is named after Nick Tallentire, a BA Philosophy student at Durham, who sadly died in 2007.

Our Department Librarian is Dr Andrew Cooper

Common Room

We have a common room for use by staff and students. It's a place to drink coffee, read, socialise, study -- and most of all to talk philosophy. As a department, we have a strong ethos of collaborative research, and we want our students to share that ethos. Head to the common room after your lecture or seminar, and continue your conversation. You might even find your lecturer in there for an impromtu tutorial!

Computing and Study Space

For quiet study, the Tallentire Library is open daily and can be booked by arrangement. We also have set aside a room specifically for postgraduate students, the Postgraduate Study Room, which is available to all graduate students and may be used after hours by arrangement. This room contains PCs and printers.

Most colleges provide word processing facilities for their students and there are numerous computers and study spaces in the University Library.

The Bill Bryson University Library

The University Library has an excellent collection of basic research works in philosophy, including a substantial number of philosophy periodicals. The collection is steadily increasing each year, and the library can help you to trace and obtain relevant material from other libraries. The library has an extensive collection of bibliographies and abstracting and indexing services, complemented by an online information service, and offers computer access to other library holdings via the academic networks.

The University's Bill Bryson Library houses reference works, books of general interest and the much-used modern collections in the humanities, science and social sciences. The Palace Green Section stands between the Cathedral and the Castle. It contains a large part of the Library’s extensive archives and special collections of manuscripts, early printed books, maps, prints and photographs. Of particular note are the medieval book manuscripts, theological, literary, liturgical and medical/scientific. Important collections of early printed books include Bishop Cosin’s Library (founded 1668), the Bamburgh Library (the family collection of Archbishop John Sharp, 1845-1714, and his descendants), and the Library of M J Routh, the great patristics scholar; holdings of seventeenth century English printing are exceptionally rich. Areas of strength include sixteenth-century political and religious controversy; seventeenth-century science; theology, especially patristics and the history of biblical exegesis; liturgy and hymnology; classical scholarship, sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.

Further afield

The additional resources of the two universities, City and other libraries, museums and archives of Newcastle upon Tyne are within easy reach -- only 12 minutes by train. Edinburgh, with rich resources including the national copyright depository library, is under two hours away by rail.