Skip to main content

Special exhibitions

Explore exhibitions created by Durham University students.

Toy Box: celebrating toys and games across cultures

A family-friendly summer exhibition showcasing toys from across Asia and Egypt to celebrate the simple fact that we all love to play.
drawing of a range of toys from around the world

Repair and Care: the Norman Chapel Project

This exhibition explores the history of construction and building conservation at Durham Castle, with a particular focus on the Norman Chapel Project.
Photograph looking in to the Norman Chapel and Durham Castle, showing several illuminated stone columns beside thick stone walls

Under Durham: the Untold Stories

This exhibition explores the past of Durham through the ordinary people who lived and worked here.
View of the River Wear to historical Prebend’s Bridge arches in the summer sunshine.

Upcoming events

Toy Box

Saturday 27 July, 2024
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Oriental Museum
Small wooden ball toy from a model Japanese doll's house.

Sketchbook Workshop

Wednesday 31 July, 2024
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Oriental Museum
From left to right we see; a purple single line drawing of a person standing up; a collage of a star made with cut-out triangles from maps, wrapping paper and coloured card; a yellow-boarded worksheet on a blue clipboard that has been filled out by a child.

Awesome Armies

Friday 2 August, 2024
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Oriental Museum
Oriental Museum replica model terracotta warrior of an archer.

Terrible Teeth

Saturday 3 August, 2024
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Oriental Museum
Image by Giulia Marotta from Pixabay

Eternal Ascent: Bentley Beetham and the 1924 Mount Everest Expedition

An exhibition marking the centenary of the 1924 Mount Everest Expedition, the first Western, and ultimately tragic, attempt to climb the highest mountain in the world.

The story is told from the perspective of one man, Bentley Beetham, using pictures selected from his large collection of photographs and glass lantern slides taken during the course of the expedition.

Climbers walk between mountain peaks

Online exhibitions

Explore our collections from home with our online exhibition programme.

Journeys: Reading the World

Explore themes of travel, adventure and exploration using the rare books, diaries, maps and letters in Palace Green Library special collections.
Collage image of items included in the Journeys exhibition, including a giant from Gulliver’s Travels, a tourist with binoculars, Notre Dame Cathedral, a plane, a world map, three arctic explorers and an aeroplane.

Hidden Stories From the River Wear

Explore the collections of underwater archaeologist, Gary Bankhead, in an exhibition by students from Durham University.
River Wear Exhibition logo showing outline of the river and map of Durham from above

Bridging Identities: the Cultural Odyssey of Kurdistani Jews

This exhibition combines contemporary and historic photography to show how cultural roots and a sense of history helps new communities to form today.
A group of people holding hands and dancing around a living room.

Join our Friends

Our Botanic Garden, Oriental Museum and Palace Green Library all have Friends organisations which organise events and lectures including special members-only experiences.

A group of people stood examining a piece of artwork

Regular activities

Durham University Library and Collections offer a range of fun, engaging and accessible workshops, resources and experiences for people of all ages.

  • Creative Age

    Creative Age is a free, weekly art group for people living with dementia or other long-term health challenges and their carers.
    Journey, a collaborative artwork made by the Creative Age group and artist Marián Hernandez Villada.
  • Durham Archaeology Explorers

    Our archaeology club for children aged 7 - 11, meeting monthly at the Oriental Museum as well as trips to local archaeological and heritage sites.
    Child in high-vis jacket taking part in Durham Archaeology Explorers
  • Little Dragons

    Come along to Little Dragons under-fives group and explore the Oriental Museum's fantastic collections and exhibitions.
    Toddler enjoying Little Dragons under-fives session

Creative Age

Creative Age is a free, weekly art group for people living with dementia or other long-term health challenges and their carers.
Journey, a collaborative artwork made by the Creative Age group and artist Marián Hernandez Villada.

Durham Archaeology Explorers

Our archaeology club for children aged 7 - 11, meeting monthly at the Oriental Museum as well as trips to local archaeological and heritage sites.
Child in high-vis jacket taking part in Durham Archaeology Explorers

Little Dragons

Come along to Little Dragons under-fives group and explore the Oriental Museum's fantastic collections and exhibitions.
Toddler enjoying Little Dragons under-fives session

Follow us