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University College

Study spaces

IT Suite

There is a PC room in Castle on Hall Stairs, close to the Library. The computers are upgraded to stay in line with the University specifications and currently run Windows 7 with a variety of applications available for use. They are networked and equivalent to using the computers located anywhere else in the University. There is a printer and scanner there, but the computers also have access to the more specialised printers and plotters located within the Information Technology Service. However, all student study-bedrooms are networked, being connected to the University's IT system.

University College Library

University College Library

The College Library

Our onsite College library is open 24 hours a day and has some 10,000 books, mostly recommended text for degree courses and supplementary reading. The library is a popular place for quiet study, especially during exam times. The Minstrels' Gallery at the south end of the Great Hall has been converted into an extension for the library, providing more work space for study and storage for less frequently used books. The Library and Minstrels' Gallery are also wireless areas for network access through laptops, the latter having more power sockets available.

University College library

University College library

The library relies on the honesty of borrowers to sign out books. The library is overseen by Dr Richard Lawrie with assistance from the Junior Lowe Librarian and the JCR's Library Committee. The Library exists to provide a pleasant working environment for members of University College and a stock of books for their use. It is laid out over several floors off Hall Stairs, to the south of the Great Hall.

Opening hours

The Library is open to members of the College throughout term time 24/7 (although it may be closed during major events within the Castle). The Library is locked during vacations, but a key can normally be obtained from the porters. At this time, access may be restricted by maintenance work or the use of parts of the Library for storage, but at least one floor should be available as study space.


There is no routine staff presence in the Library. It is run by the Senior Lowe Librarian, Dr Richard Lawrie and the Junior Lowe Librarians, Esther Goldberg and Josh Jowitt. There are also several Lowe Library Assistants.
The Senior Lowe Librarian can be contacted at

Please report any general problems within the Library (leaks, breakages etc.) to the Porters Lodge.

Lt.-Col. W. D. Lowe

University College's library is called the Lowe Memorial Library, named in honour of William Douglas Lowe (1879-1922). A tutor in Classics at the College since 1903, he became Bursar and Censor of University College in 1913. He also took a keen interest in rowing, and the development of Durham's OTC. At the outbreak of World War I he became an officer in the Durham Light Infantry, eventually commanding the 18th Battalion, DLI. He returned to Durham after the war and resumed his work, but died suddenly in 1922 at the age of 42. His collection of books formed the basis for the foundation of the College Library.