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Archives and Special Collections: Visiting us in person


Ask DULib

Contact us through our enhanced virtual enquiry desk, Ask DULib. Search our FAQs, email us, or chat with a librarian. 
Ask DULib is available to all students, staff and users.

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Research access to the collections

On-site access to the Archives and Special Collections within our three sites (Palace Green Library, Ushaw College Library and 5 The College) is available for both members of Durham University and external researchers. 

If you have not visited us since 1 August 2021, please email before your visit to book an appointment, giving at least 3 working days’ notice.  All visits to 5 The College or Ushaw College Library must be booked in advance. 

We encourage all our researchers to email details of the books or documents (including shelfmarks or document references) that you would like to work on.  This will ensure that we can have them ready for you, as items cannot always be produced on demand. 

Please do not book or attend an appointment if you have any symptoms of Coronavirus (Covid-19), or if you have been asked to self-isolate.

Information on remote access to the collections in our care is available at the following pages:

For further information on our sites and services, see the guide to University Library and Collections and Partner Library sites:

If you have arranged or been given a specific arrival time, please arrive as close to that time as possible. 

Please do not visit if you have any of the symptoms of Covid-19, if you are awaiting a test result or if you have been asked to self-isolate. If you develop any of these symptoms whilst on-site, please let staff on duty know and leave the building.  If you are not a current member of the university, please contact us if you develop Covid-19 symptoms or test positive within 7 days of your visit, either by emailing or calling 0191 3342972.  Current staff or students should contact the university using the methods outlined at if you have symptoms or a positive test.

You will need to wear a face covering on arrival and when moving around the building, unless you are unable to do so.

Search room rules are displayed on site, as well as guidelines for users.

You will need to bring with you a face covering, your own pencil (and sharpener) and/or laptop/tablet. You can also bring into the Search Room your own notes and your own books, within reason, and can use silent, hand-held cameras or 'phones to photograph most material, on request. There are lockers available for coats and bags. Food and drink are not permitted in the building.  Due to increased ventilation, our buildings may be cooler than usual during the winter months.

Wifi is normally available for members of the University or those registered with Eduroam, and as a self-registering public service.

Further information for visiting Palace Green Library

All visitors are required to wear a face covering when moving around our buildings and study spaces or speaking to someone (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.