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Search Our Collections  

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

Select 'Museums and Collections' in the search box above and you will obtain results from all of Durham University's Museums, Archives and Special Collections and departmental collections. Try searching 'everything' to produce a combined set of results including library and other online resources encompassing objects, books, articles, e-resources and Durham University research. 

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.

It is important to understand how objects were viewed in the past. As such, we use our database to preserve all information ever recorded about our collections. This means that historic or outdated terms may be included in some database entries.  Some of these terms may be offensive or discriminatory.

Get in touch  

We are always happy to receive information about objects in our collections and corrections to our database entries. Please get in touch by emailing our Collections Assistant.

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?