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Durham University


Our libraries

Studying in the Palace Green Library

Durham University Library offers a fantastic range of resources and study facilities. Our library staff are here to help you find the academic sources you need and support you in making the best use of them.

The Bill Bryson Library in Durham City (pictured right) is the largest of our libraries and provides resources for all of the subjects studied at Durham University. It provides a light, spacious study environment with a range of facilities including individual and group study spaces, bookable rooms for individual and group work, computer rooms, and a café.

We have also created two new group study rooms at the Leazes Road Library in the School of Education. Specialist collections to support our economics, finance and business programmes are also available at the Business School Library.

All of our libraries open late into the evening during term-time so that you have access to the resources and study spaces you need, when you need them. Durham's online learning environment, duo, provides access to a variety of core reading materials tailored to your modules, such as digitised book chapters and journal articles.

Heritage collections

Archives and Special Collections

Located on the World Heritage Site close to Durham Cathedral, Palace Green Library offers a dedicated space where you can study our many rare and internationally renowned archives, manuscripts and early printed books. All of the collections will be available for you to explore throughout your time at Durham University to support your studies and research.

Palace Green Library exhibitions

Following significant investment, new Heritage Collections galleries have opened at Palace Green Library, showcasing treasures from the University’s collections. Bishop Cosin’s 17th-century library at Palace Green has also undergone conservation and is open to all gallery visitors. Entrance to the Palace Green galleries is free for all Durham University students.

Special collections and archives

The University has many rare and internationally renowned special collections and archives which are housed at Palace Green Library, in the World Heritage Site. The special collections include over 75,000 books printed before 1850, 100 medieval manuscripts, 3,400 metres of archives and artefacts, over 30,000 maps and prints and 100,000 photographs. Highlights include Cosin’s Library and the Sudan Archive, both of which are recognised with national Designated Status by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. A regular programme of public exhibitions offers the opportunity to explore subjects and view collections outside of your studies.

The three University museums (the Oriental Museum, the Museum of Archaeology and the Durham Castle collections) also provide a unique research resource for study.

Percy Leung, Liberal Arts student

“I am absolutely amazed at the amount of resources available at the Durham University libraries. Not only does the main University library provide students with numerous resources, there is a library in each College and the Palace Green Library, Business School Library and the Leazes Road Library all enhance the availability of resources. There are also documents available that students can order in the library and I find it extremely useful to be able to access various online resources, especially many wonderful academic journal articles”.