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Special exhibitions

Explore exhibitions created by Durham University students.

Toy Box: celebrating toys and games across cultures

A family-friendly summer exhibition showcasing toys from across Asia and Egypt to celebrate the simple fact that we all love to play.
drawing of a range of toys from around the world

Repair and Care: the Norman Chapel Project

This exhibition explores the history of construction and building conservation at Durham Castle, with a particular focus on the Norman Chapel Project.
Photograph looking in to the Norman Chapel and Durham Castle, showing several illuminated stone columns beside thick stone walls

Under Durham: the Untold Stories

This exhibition explores the past of Durham through the ordinary people who lived and worked here.
View of the River Wear to historical Prebend’s Bridge arches in the summer sunshine.

Upcoming events

Celebrating Durham Pride

Saturday 25 May, 2024
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Oriental Museum
Image of an Ancient Egyptian Stella depicting an offering table scene.

High and Mighty

Wednesday 29 May, 2024
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Oriental Museum
Image of mountains made out of paper in the form of a collage.

ART SOCIAL: Feel My Words: The Power of Text in Visual Art

Wednesday 29 May, 2024
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Oriental Museum, Art Collection
Art Socials

Mythical Beasts

Friday 31 May, 2024
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Oriental Museum
Image of a Chinese Lion roof tile in the Oriental Museum collection

Eternal Ascent: Bentley Beetham and the 1924 Mount Everest Expedition

An exhibition marking the centenary of the 1924 Mount Everest Expedition, the first Western, and ultimately tragic, attempt to climb the highest mountain in the world.

The story is told from the perspective of one man, Bentley Beetham, using pictures selected from his large collection of photographs and glass lantern slides taken during the course of the expedition.

Climbers walk between mountain peaks

Online exhibitions

Explore our collections from home with our online exhibition programme.

Journeys: Reading the World

Explore themes of travel, adventure and exploration using the rare books, diaries, maps and letters in Palace Green Library special collections.
Collage image of items included in the Journeys exhibition, including a giant from Gulliver’s Travels, a tourist with binoculars, Notre Dame Cathedral, a plane, a world map, three arctic explorers and an aeroplane.

Hidden Stories From the River Wear

Explore the collections of underwater archaeologist, Gary Bankhead, in an exhibition by students from Durham University.
River Wear Exhibition logo showing outline of the river and map of Durham from above

Taxila in Focus: 100 years Since Marshall

This exhibition focuses on the ancient site of Taxila, around 32 kilometres from Pakistan’s federal capital, Islamabad.
Half of the image is in black and white, showing the site in the early 20th century. The other half is a colour 21st century image.

Join our Friends

Our Botanic Garden, Oriental Museum and Palace Green Library all have Friends organisations which organise events and lectures including special members-only experiences.

A group of people stood examining a piece of artwork

Regular activities

Durham University Library and Collections offer a range of fun, engaging and accessible workshops, resources and experiences for people of all ages.

  • Creative Age

    Creative Age is a free, weekly art group for people living with dementia or other long-term health challenges and their carers.
    Journey, a collaborative artwork made by the Creative Age group and artist Marián Hernandez Villada.
  • Durham Archaeology Explorers

    Our archaeology club for children aged 7 - 11, meeting monthly at the Oriental Museum as well as trips to local archaeological and heritage sites.
    Child in high-vis jacket taking part in Durham Archaeology Explorers
  • Little Dragons

    Come along to Little Dragons under-fives group and explore the Oriental Museum's fantastic collections and exhibitions.
    Toddler enjoying Little Dragons under-fives session

Creative Age

Creative Age is a free, weekly art group for people living with dementia or other long-term health challenges and their carers.
Journey, a collaborative artwork made by the Creative Age group and artist Marián Hernandez Villada.

Durham Archaeology Explorers

Our archaeology club for children aged 7 - 11, meeting monthly at the Oriental Museum as well as trips to local archaeological and heritage sites.
Child in high-vis jacket taking part in Durham Archaeology Explorers

Little Dragons

Come along to Little Dragons under-fives group and explore the Oriental Museum's fantastic collections and exhibitions.
Toddler enjoying Little Dragons under-fives session

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