Skip to main content

Search Our Collections  

You can use Discover to search all of Durham University’s libraries, museums, archives and special collections.  

From 1 August, our online database for museum and archive collections will be available through a temporary version of Discover, due to the work required for the migration to our new and improved search system.  

  • To search our online database for museum and archive collections, please use the Discover search box below

  • For all other items, including our library collections, please visit   

For more information, visit our website. 

If you wish to narrow your search to the museum collections only, put in your search term and make your search. When your results appear look for the second drop-down box marked 'Museums and collections' to the right of the first in the search box. Click here and select 'Durham museums' and your results will be narrowed to exclude archives and departmental collections. Alternatively use the 'Refine my results' box on the right to select 'objects' or, if you are searching for photographs or other visual works, select 'images'.

More than 60,000 object records from across the Oriental Museum, Museum of Archaeology, Durham Castle and the University Art Collection are included in the database. Just over 40,000 of these objects have been photographed. If you wish to refine your search to only select those objects with photographs, use the 'Refine my Results' section on the right-hand side of the results page and under 'Availability' select 'Full text online'. This will narrow your results to only those objects with images.

Important to note   

This is a working database and not a finished catalogue.

We are constantly working to improve our database and new records and images are added regularly. Existing records are also constantly being revised to add new research. However, this also means that not all entries are complete, and some may contain errors ranging from typing mistakes to misidentifications.

We make our collections accessible to all for the purposes of academic and community research and provide access to our database online. In accordance with standard professional practice, our database entries will reflect the language of the collection and of its original creators; additionally, the individual records 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 always present.

Get in touch  

We are committed to listening to all communities and welcome your engagement. If you wish to contact us about any language used in our online database or about any particular item in our collections, please make a note of the reference number and email us at

Find out more about booking an appointment to study objects in the collection.

Other ways to explore our collections

We have partnered with a range of UK and international organisations to share our collections more widely. Why not explore?