Skip to main content

About Our Collections

Durham University is home to internationally important collections of art, archaeology, anthropology, geology, social history and natural history from across history and around the globe. Some of these collections are managed by academic departments such as Anthropology and Earth Sciences.

Art Collections

The University’s collection of art presents work by some of the most significant artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Art Collection

Bioscience Collections

The care and management of the Department of Biological Sciences’ small but significant collections of natural specimens.
mammalian skeletal material, trophy head taxidermy, zoological taxidermy, birds’ eggs, a spirit collection and plant and seed material.

Durham Castle Collections

The Durham Castle collection has around 5,000 objects covering nearly 500 years of history.
Ceiling alcove in Durham Castle

Museum of Archaeology Collections

The Museum of Archaeology collection covers nearly 250,000 years of human history and has over 25,000 objects.
A variety of archaeological hand tools

Oriental Museum Collections

The Oriental Museum is home to more than 40,000 objects drawn mainly from the cultures of North Africa and Asia.
Showcases, art and museum displays at the Oriental Museum over three levels

Collections Outreach

The Collections Outreach Team offers a varied and engaging programme of online and physical educational visits.
A child dressed in school uniform sits at a table studying an ancient Egyptian scarab

University Library and Collections care for more than 100,000 objects and artworks spread across three museums and two collections. We make these collections accessible to all university staff and students as well as the tens of thousands of members of our local community, tourists, UK and international researchers who use our museums, visit our exhibitions or take part in our events programme each year.    

Look at the information on academic support to find out how our curators work to make all of our collections accessible to academics and students for teaching and research.   

Our Collections Outreach Team are dedicated to sharing our collections with non-academic visitors and users of all kinds. 

Various items of pottery on display in a glass cabinet