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Information for Visitors

People visiting the Bill Bryson Library

Our libraries and collections are provided to support the research, teaching and learning of the Durham University community. We are also pleased to welcome external students, researchers and visitors to Bill Bryson Library. If you need additional information please contact our Virtual Enquiry desk.

If you wish to access our Archives and Special Collections, please contact the team at Barker Research Library at Palace Green Library 

To access Bill Bryson Library: 

General Information for visitors 

Visitors studying or working at another academic institution 

Visitors associated with Durham University 

General visitors 

Visitor Campus Card application

General information 

  • External visitors are welcome between 9am and 10pm, seven days a week. Check our webpage for any closures or changes to these times before you travel
  • Before and during the exam period in April and May, access will be restricted as we have a high demand for study spaces
  • Visitors are able to access free Wi-Fi through Eduroam (if supported by their institution) or the Cloud  
  • Access to a selection of our electronic resources is available for external visitors through dedicated PCs. Visit the Help and Information Desk for your username and password
  • There is a scanner for visitor use
  • Currently, there are no facilities for visitor printing or photocopying
  • There is a charge of £10 made payable to the University Computing and Information Service if a replacement for a lost visitor card is required. 

If you studying or working at another academic or partner institution 

  • Students and Staff from other UK universities: Durham University is a member of the reciprocal scheme Sconul Access. This enables many University users to access other academic libraries in the UK and Ireland. Please see the Sconul Access information pages to check if you are eligible.
  • North East Universities’ students and staff: Through a reciprocal agreement with North East University Libraries, staff and students from Durham and Newcastle universities can access each other’s Libraries for reference use only. You will need to bring your own university ID card for all visits. If you wish to borrow, you can check to see if you’re eligible and apply through Sconul Access.
  • Common Awards students: As partners you are able to use Durham University Library. You can apply for a Campus Card. To borrow up to 7 items, you will need to register your student email address at our Help and Information Desk. For more information see the Common Award webpages. 
  • Study Group (ISC – Stockton) students and staff: Your Campus Card gives you full access to Bill Bryson Library and enables you to borrow books from us. 
  • Schools and 6th form: If you have been on an organised school visit and induction with our Learning Team, you are welcome to use Bill Bryson Library independently for reference use. You will be given a card to show you’ve been to the induction, please bring this with you on each visit and ask to be signed in at the Help and Information desk. If you wish to arrange a school visit, please contact our Learning Team. 
  • EPQ students: If you are completing a EPQ, you can ask your school to contact our Virtual Enquiry Desk to request reference access to Bill Bryson Library. We will arrange for you to have a short induction, and then you can use Bill Bryson Library independently. 


If you are associated with Durham University 

  • Retired Durham University staff: You can apply for a Library card, which will also enable you to borrow up to 7 items plus access to licensed online collections, through DURSA.
  • Emeritus staff:  Please complete a Visitor Application form to access the library and borrow up to 20 items. If you require IT access please contact your department. 
  • Casual Durham staff and College mentors: Your Campus card will enable you to borrow up to 7 items. 

Visitor Campus Card application  

Individual external visitors 

  • Reference access: There is no charge for reference only access. You will be asked to show ID and register at our Help and Information desk. We will then issue you with a day pass. Or you can apply for an annual Visitor Card. Please contact our Virtual Enquiry Desk.