Palace Green Library

Palace Green Library
Durham University Library
Palace Green
Durham
DH1 3RN
England

Website

www.dur.ac.uk/library/

E-mail

pg.library@durham.ac.uk

Telephone

0191 334 2932

Fax

0191 334 2942

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Image of the entrance to Palace Green Library, with Durham Cathedral in the background
Guided tours icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon

Founded in 1833 and occupying listed buildings within the Durham World Heritage site, the Palace Green Library of Durham University houses archives, early printed books and other special collections. The Library has two exhibition spaces: the Wolfson Gallery, which regularly exhibits treasures from all of the university's heritage collections and the prestigious, newly opened ( June 2012) Dunelm Gallery.

There are: Over 70,000 books printed before 1850 including 300 incunables; over 100 Medieval manuscripts; 3,400 metres of archives and artefacts; over 30,000 maps and prints and 100,000 photographs. We are open to anyone needing to consult our collections. New users will be required to fill out a short registration form.

Two of the University Library's special collections, the Bishop Cosin's Library and the Sudan Archive, were awarded Designated Collection of national importance status in 2005 in the first round of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council Designation Scheme.

Venue Type:

Library, Archive, Gallery, Heritage site, Museum

Opening hours

Library Term time
Mon 9.00-18.00
Tues 9.00-18.00
Weds 9.00-18.00
Thurs 9.00-18.00
Fri 9.00-18.00
Sat CLOSED
Sun CLOSED
Bank Holidays: please check library website

Library Vacation time
Mon 9.00-17.00
Tues 9.00-17.00
Wed 9.00-17.00
Thurs 9.00-17.00
Fri 9.00-17.00
Sat CLOSED
Sun CLOSED
Bank Holidays: please check library website

Gallery (Term and Vacation)
Mon 12.00-17.00
Tues 10.00-17.00
Wed 10.00-17.00
Thurs 10.00-17.00
Fri 10.00-17.00
Sat 10.00-17.00
Sun 12.00-17.00

Admission charges

Exhibitions admission charges:
£4.50 Adults
£3.00 Concessions
Campus Card Holders - free
School/pre-booked group of over 10 people £3.00
Joint ticket - Castle Tour and Galleries £8.00

Durham Castle Tours:
Adults £5.00
Concessions/chilldren £3.50
Children aged 5 and under - FREE
Family ticket £12.00

Additional info

Wheelchair access to all public areas ,though subject to disruption from ongoing building work. Please check Library website: pg.library@durham.ac.uk or call 191 334 2932 on the day you intend to visit.

The Bishop Cosin's Library and the Sudan Archive are Designated Collections of oustanding national and international importance.

The Bishop Cosin’s Library is still housed in its original building and, as an integral element of the World Heritage Site, has significance for the history of libraries and for ecclesiastical history both locally and nationally.

The Sudan Archive is indispensable to the study of the Sudan in the period of British administration. It is significant to British national life through its illustration of the impact of the colonial power on the country at many levels of administration.

The Special Collections at Palace Green Library also hold many other important national and regional collections, including:

Durham Diocesian Records
Durham Cathedral Muniments
Local Records, Maps, Plans and Photographs
Manorial Records
Earl Grey Family Papers
Antiquarian Papers
Literary Papers
Durham University Records

Collection details

World Cultures, Social History, Religion, Literature, Archives

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
  • Sudan
  • Cosin
  • County Durham
  • Bishop
  • Cathedral
  • Dean and Chapter
  • Earl Grey
  • University
  • Archives
  • Books
  • Manuscript
  • Printed
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
painting of durham

Living on the Hills - 10,000 years of Durham

  • 26 July 2014 — 26 July 2016 *on now

This permanent exhibition uses objects from Museum of Archaeology, alongside objects from across Durham University and other regional museums to explore the last 10,000 years of Durham.

In July 2014, Palace Green Library’s Wolfson Gallery will become the new home for displays from the Museum of Archaeology. This permanent exhibition uses objects from Museum of Archaeology, alongside objects from across Durham University and other regional museums to explore the last 10,000 years of Durham.
Over the last few months, visitors to the Wolfson Gallery have been able preview a taster exhibition, unearthing the stories of how people have lived and worked in Durham for over 10,000 years.
Living on the Hills investigates the lives of people who have lived and visited Durham through the tools and everyday objects they used, and the art and architecture they left behind to be rediscovered. Discover Prehistoric objects found by chance at the turn of the century, Roman objects uncovered by Victorian antiquarians and Medieval objects found during 1970s archaeological excavations.
Included in the gallery is a community archaeology space which will showcase the work of local archaeology and history groups from across the region.

Suitable for

  • Any age
Books for Boys Exhibition Poster

Books for Boys

  • 27 September 2014 — 11 January 2015 *on now

Books for Boys explores boyhood during the earliest years of the twentieth century and the cultural environment that shaped a generation.

The exhibition celebrates a golden age of books for children. The late Victorian and Edwardian era introduced readers to classics from The Jungle Book to The Wind in the Willows. Looking also at older readers, we include tales of real-life heroes, early spy novels, and popular classics such as Scouting for Boys. Books will be shown alongside toys and games of the period and author’s original manuscripts.

Books for Boys explores the fascinating links between these stories and ideals of boyhood. In a world where patriotism and duty were often seen as the defining qualities of a manly character, thrilling tales of adventure, real-life heroes, spies and imaginary worlds were written to inspire the boys that would go on to fight in the First World War.

This thought-provoking exhibition celebrates reading and reveals the sometimes surprising stories behind some of the best-loved works of the period, comparing the books enjoyed by children in Britain and Germany.

From Conan-Doyle to Kipling, Wodehouse to Wells, the exhibition is a must for anyone who enjoys reading. Inspired by the books, displays will celebrate ripping yarns and thrilling adventure. Who knows what you will discover…..

This exhibition is the first in a series of exhibitions linked to the national centenary commemoration of the First World War. Please keep an eye on our website for details of future exhibitions.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults: £4.50
Children (over 5) and concessions: £3.50
Infants (under 5) and carers: Free
Durham University campus card holders: Free

Website

http://www.dur.ac.uk/palace.green

Vietnam: A Nation not a War

Vietnam: A Nation not a War

  • 30 January — 26 April 2015

The exhibition mixes historic and contemporary objects from Vietnam with contemporary works by British artist Anthony Key to explore national identity, migration, cultural diversity, faith and belonging in Vietnam. Building on research currently being undertaken at Durham University, the exhibition looks beyond stereotypes and familiar associations with the Vietnam War to bring the Vietnamese nation and its diverse ethnic groups to life for the visitor.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

• Adults: £4.50
• Children (over 5) and concessions: £3.50
• Infants (under 5) and carers: Free
• Durham University campus card holders: Free

Website

http://www.dur.ac.uk/palace.green

On Seeing the Author

On Seeing the Author

  • 30 January — 26 April 2015

For millennia, people watching plays, listening to songs and poetry, and reading books have understood that an author was responsible for the words they are experiencing. Thinking about the author has always been important in thinking about the words themselves.

The “Living Poets” research project in Durham University’s Classics and Ancient History Department explores how people have imagined ancient authors over time. It also considers how readers and listeners imagine authors look, as a way of thinking about their works.

This research is brought together in a fascinating new exhibition at Palace Green Library. The exhibition considers Bishop Cosin’s Library; a seventeenth-century building decorated with the portraits of important authors. Many books in the library also include portraits of authors and offer a valuable opportunity to explore how people in the past imagined the faces of the authors they read. This leads us to think about how we view modern authors through their portraits and personalities.

The exhibition concludes with a new commission of author portraits by photographer Julian Germain contributes to this exploration of what we experience “On Seeing the Author”.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

• Adults: £4.50
• Children (over 5) and concessions: £3.50
• Infants (under 5) and carers: Free
• Durham University campus card holders: Free

Website

http://www.dur.ac.uk/palace.green

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Family Records Guide

http://familyrecords.dur.ac.uk

This site contains links to our resources, guides and projects that are most likely to be useful for those undertaking family history and also local history research, or wanting to study individuals and families from the archives held by Durham University Library.

Publisher

  • Durham University Library Special Collections

North East Inheritance

http://familyrecords.dur.ac.uk/nei

The North East Inheritance project is creating of an online digital image catalogue of over 150,000 wills and related archives from across County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland. These will provide an invaluable insight into north-eastern people and communities, their family relationships, trades and lifestyles. The wills date from the 16th Century to the mid-19th Century and many are accompanied by inventories of the goods belonging to the deceased, bonds, accounts, and a variety of associated documents.

Publisher

  • Durham University Library Special Collections

Remembering Slavery

http://www.dur.ac.uk/4schools/indexpages/citizenship.html

A schools workshop that challenges students to think about the transatlantic slave trade and the impact that it has had. The session is based on printed, manuscript and pictoral sources from our collections but also makes use of our slavery-related handling collection and life-sized print of the slave ship Brookes. The session can take place at our Library or in school and can be adapted to suit any Key Stage.

Creator

  • Durham University Museums and Special Collections

How to obtain

Information about the session and supporting resources can be found on our website. Please contact 4schools@durham.ac.uk for further information.

Remembering Slavery

http://www.dur.ac.uk/4schools/indexpages/citizenship.html

A collection of online resources which use printed and manuscript material to look at the history of the transatlantic slave trade. Included are a series of e-learning resources which are ready for use in the classroom; an online exhibition focusing on various aspects of the slave trade; and a number of resources designed for use on interactive whiteboards.

Creator

  • Durham University Museums and Special Collecions

Publisher

  • Durham University Library

Victorian Durham

http://www.dur.ac.uk/4schools/victoriandurham/default.html

An online resource looking at aspects of Victorian life with particular reference to Durham. It is accompanied by a specially designed walking trail for schools which takes pupils on a tour around the World Heritage Site on a quest for clues about the city's Victorian past.

Creator

  • Durham University Museums and Special Collections in collaboration with students on the MA Museum and Artefact Studies course

Publisher

  • Durham University Library
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