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Our services: Libraries and site information: Partner Libraries

An overview of our libraries

Ushaw College Library

Established as a Catholic Seminary in 1808, Ushaw College represents the largest and most significant concentration of buildings, archives, books, artworks, and other artefacts related to the history of Catholicism in the North of England. Largely designed by A. W. N. Pugin and other gothic revivalist architects, Ushaw College is a magnificent symbol of the 19th-century Catholic revival. 

The Library in Ushaw College is home to the internationally significant archive and rare book collections managed by Durham University and owned by the Trustees of Ushaw College.

The collections are currently in the process of being catalogued by University Library and Collections staff and available to search via Discover.  Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the collections are currently not available for research and the library is closed.  If you would like to be notified once we are able to provide access to the collections, or for further enquiries, please email


Durham Cathedral Library

Durham Cathedral Library is administered by Durham Cathedral staff and comprises: 

  • The Sharp Library of modern theology 

  • The Chapter Library of modern history and local history 

  • The Special Collections of rare books, with Antiquarian and Music Manuscripts 

These collections are normally accessed via the Dormitory or Open Treasure Exhibition off the Cathedral Cloister. At the time of writing, Durham Cathedral Library is closed.  Further information on access, contact details and procedures for booking appointments can be found at Durham Cathedral Library. 

The medieval manuscripts and incunables (books printed before 1500) are currently accessed at Palace Green Library.

Access to the Durham Cathedral Archive and related collections held at 5 The College is available on a limited appointment basis through our online booking form.  For further information on the cathedral archive and related collections, see our separate guide.

Catalogue information on all the collections can be found in the University Discover system.