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

An overview of our libraries

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. 

Currently, pre-booked access is available for Durham University staff and students only. All the material held here is for reference use only. 

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

Opening Times and Contact Details

Access is strictly by appointment

Monday - Friday: 10am-4pm

Saturday - Sunday: Closed

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

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How to access the Library

During the Easter term 2021, on-site access to the Archives and Special Collections is available for members of Durham University only.  You will need to make an appointment, for which please see separate information on Visiting us in person.

Please see our separate guide to reprographics services, if you are unable to visit in person.

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer study spaces at Barker Research Library at this time. 

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

Our exhibition galleries, including the Museum of Archaeology and DLI Collection Gallery, are currently closed to walk-in visitors.

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

At this stage, we do not have capacity to accommodate volunteers.

We hope to be able to welcome you back soon and thank you for your patience in the meantime.

Visit Us

All colleagues, students, visitors, contractors and members of the public are required to wear a face covering inside all University buildings (unless an individual is exempt from wearing one due to a medical condition). This includes when seated at a study desk.

All other safety measures should also continue to be followed, including social distancing measures of 2 metres.

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.