Skip to Main Content Page Title
Library logo

Archives and Special Collections: Family History Sources: Home

Please note

This guide is a work-in-progress. If you need information about a collection and you are unable to find it here, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us. Apologies for any inconvience or delay this may cause.


Here you will find links to our resources, guides and projects that are most likely to be useful for those undertaking family history research, or wanting to study individuals and families from the archives held by Durham University Library. These manuscript archives, as well as an extensive printed local history collection, are freely accessible to all - not just to students.

The collections include diocesan, family, and antiquarian collections dating from the medieval to modern times, and they relate to both County Durham and Northumberland, as well as certain parts of neighbouring counties.

Most of the record series featured on these pages have been selected for their accessibility for, as well as their popularity with genealogists, but there also are one or two lesser-used collections that may be new discoveries for readers.


Click on the linked image below to open the search interface for all our library, archive and museum collections.  Further guidance for searching the archives and special collections is available on our website.

discover interface for book collections


About our collections

Rare and Early Printed Books
Churches and Religion
Sudan Archive
Medieval Manuscripts
Local and Family History
Durham University Records
Durham Cathedral Collections
International Sources
Digitised Collections Online
Music, Literature and the Arts
Other Collections and Subjects

Where to start

Collection highlights

Archivist filmed with medieval deed in Palace Green Library

Archives and Special Collections podcasts and films

Online exhibitions (archive, library, museum and art collections)

Durham University Library and Collections blog

Archives and Special Collections Item of the Month

Durham Priory Library project blog

Binchester Exposed (Archaeology exhibition)