We are custodians of internationally recognised cultural collections, housed and displayed at Palace Green Library, the Oriental Museum, Durham Castle and across our campus. These include important collections of European, Asian and African art and archaeology; social history and anthropological collections; biological specimens; archives; manuscripts; and early printed books from around the world. Four of our cultural collections have been granted elite “Designated Collection” status by Arts Council England in recognition of their global significance.
About our collections
Our extensive and wide-ranging collections and are used by members of the university, the wider academic community, schools and members of the public, for learning, teaching, research and enjoyment. They include print books and journals, ebooks and ejournals, articles, reports, theses dissertations, databases, datasets and other research sources, images, recordings, news and open access resources.
Collections include archives, manuscripts, printed books, photographs, maps, and films.
Content and language warning
We make our collections accessible to all for the purposes of academic and community research, and provide catalogues to them online. In accordance with standard professional practice our catalogues will reflect the language of the collection and of its original creators; additionally, the catalogues may have been written many years ago when the collection was first received by the university. Voices, objects and images from the past can display attitudes, opinions and relate to events which may be viewed as biased and offensive in today’s society. Other voices are not present. We are committed to listening to all communities and welcome your engagement. If you wish to contact us about any language used in our catalogues or about any particular item in our collections please make a note of the reference number and contact us.