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Archives and Special Collections: Durham University Records: Home


The University of Durham, founded in 1832, is the third oldest in England. Established uniquely by the cathedral and bishop of Durham, over the years it has expanded from Durham to various other locations in the North East and overseas. It has always been innovative in the subjects it has taught and the range of experiences that it has provided its students.

The archive is a rich legacy of its development and activities and, along with the  university itself, is continuously growing. The potential research topics in its records are many and varied, not least, and possibly most popularly, the individuals who have been at the university. The university has covered most subjects in its time, and the interests and activities of its members have been as wide-ranging as one could wish. Whatever your research interest, dig a little and there should have been some resonance with it in the university over time.


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

Subject guides

The collections mentioned in this guide could be useful for a range of academic subjects taught at Durham University. The guides listed below also have information about other relevant resources.

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)