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Our services: Libraries and site information: Barker Research Library, Palace Green

An overview of our libraries

Pre-booked access to Barker Research Library 

From Monday 24 January, you will no longer need to make a booking to access Barker Research Library - visit our website for full details. 

Durham University's Archives and Special Collections are held within the Barker Research Library, located in the historic Palace Green Library complex on Durham’s World Heritage Site. The Library is bright and airy, making for a peaceful place to study and work. 

All the material held here is for reference use only. Access is available for those using the collections. 

For more information on our collections, please see the Archives and Special Collections guide.

Opening Times and Contact Details

Opening times:

  • Monday - Friday: 10am-5pm
  • Saturday - Sunday: Closed

For research access to our collections, please contact us to make an appointment.

Barker Research Library

Palace Green Library 

Palace Green 


DH1 3RN 

Tel: 0191 334 2972 


Food and Drink - Important Information

Food and drink is not permitted in the Barker Research Library. There is no cafe or refreshment facilities on site. However, there are plenty of coffee shops and cafes nearby.

Keep up to date

Keep up to date via our social media:


How to access the Library

On-site access to the Archives and Special Collections is available for members of Durham University and external researchers.  If you have not visited us this academic year, you will need to make an appointment, for which please see separate information on Visiting us in person.

Please see our separate guides to reprographics services and to accessing the collections virtually, if you are unable to visit in person.

A small number of bookable study spaces are available for silent study - please be aware that due to the nature of the collections within the library, no food or drink is allowed. Visit our Space Bookings system to book a study space, and our Study Spaces Guide for more information on using our booking system.

For information on study spaces available elsewhere across campus, please see our Study Spaces Guide.

Our exhibition galleries, including the Museum of Archaeology and DLI Collection Gallery, are now open with free entry to visitors. Pre-booking is required to access these galleries - please visit Palace Green Library Exhibitions : Your Visit - Durham University for more information.

We continue to develop new online exhibitions, events and learning resources for users to engage with from anywhere in the world.

Visit Us

From Friday 10 December, please wear a face covering at all times within our buildings and study spaces, including when sitting at your study desk (unless you are exempt). Please make sure you bring a covering to wear during your visit.

Other safety measures should also continue to be followed, including respecting other people's space and hand hygiene.

Please review the World Health Organisation’s guidance on the safe use of face coverings.

By foot from Durham Market Place
  • This is a walk of 0.2 miles or an approximate 5 minutes.
  • Head in the direction of Saddler Street, passing a fish and chip shop on your right-hand side. 
  • The road will divide, stay to the right and walk up the hill. 
  • Continue until you reach Owengate on your right-hand side and take this cobbled street.
  • You will now be on Palace Green, follow the path around to your right and Palace Green Library will be in front of you, between the Castle and Cathedral.  
Arriving by public transport
  • If you arrive in Durham by train or bus, the easiest and most convenient way to reach Palace Green Library is by using the Cathedral Bus which stops directly outside Palace Green Library.  
  • This bus stops in the Market Place, in front of the Boots store. If you have parked in the Prince Bishops Shopping Centre car park, walk straight ahead through the shopping centre from the cark park and you will come to this bus stop on your left as you enter the Market Place. 
There is no parking available at Palace Green Library. Parking is available within a 5-10 minute walk of Palace Green Library.  
Walking from Prince Bishops Shopping Centre 
  • From the car park, exit via the pedestrian access route to Prince Bishops Shopping Centre. Turn left and walk through the Shopping Centre until you reach Saddler Street. 
  • Turn left onto Saddler Street and follow the road as it heads up hill.  Take the first turn on the right into Owengate. Owengate leads onto Palace Green, the Durham UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
  • Follow the path around to your right and Palace Green Library will be in front of you, between the Castle and Cathedral. 

Please see our Accessibility and Support Guide for further information.