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Using Our Collections

Our collections contain material of immense cultural value to communities in the north east, the United Kingdom and the world. These treasures are your heritage, telling stories of our shared past that can be inspiring and challenging, and challenged too.

Archivist Support

Our archivists and rare books librarian can provide you with significant support.
Book spines on a bookshelf

Making an Appointment

Find out more about making an appointment.
Students are looking at documents in the archives and special collections area within the Barker Research Library

Requesting, Handling, and Returning Material

Find out more about making requests, handling our collections, and returning items.
Image of camels and a driver transporting telegraph poles across an empty desert in Sudan, 1915

Virtual Search Room

Our virtual service is available to enable Durham University members and external researchers to consult our collections remotely.
A bond by Robert Ogle, lord of Ogle and Bothal, to John Bentley for merchandise, sealed in 1524 by Ogle and the mayor of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (Eden Papers EDE B1/10)

Photography and Photocopying

Find out more about photographing our collections, photocopying items, and reproduction information.
Detail of the typescript text of the Munro-Wheatley Agreement, 1924

Understanding Original Documents and Rare Books

Historians of any period or subject use original documents in their research. These come in many forms, but all were created during or soon after the
Leaf from the Nuremberg Chronicle, with an illustration showing Adam and Eve eating the apple from the Tree of Knowledge and their expulsion from Paradise as a punishment (Durham University Library SA 0166)

Case Studies

Durham University’s Libraries and Collections include library, archives, special collections, museums and galleries.
Library Case Studies Music Notes

We curate them for you and for future generations, making them freely accessible to all. Whether you're an academic researcher or if you want to find out more about your local area or your family's history, we're here to help you make the most of what we have, so please get in touch if you need to.

Make a start by searching our online catalogues to find what interests you. You are very welcome to make an enquiry and to visit us.

From illuminated manuscripts to digital files we must look after all of our collections carefully so that they are still there for researchers long into the future. You will therefore be asked to register when you first visit us, and then to follow rules when handling items.

Please explore our online guides, which contain a wealth of information about our collections and how you may access them. If you have further questions, our knowledgeable staff will be pleased to hear from you and offer their help.