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Welcome to University Library and Collections 2020-2021: Home

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Welcome to Durham University Library and Collections! 

Whether you are starting your University journey with us this year or are returning to campus to continue your studies, we are looking forward to working with you and supporting you during your time with Durham University. 

As we start the new academic year, you will find some changes to the services that you may be used to from our libraries and collections, due to the effects of Covid-19. All the services we are offering this year are in line with government and University guidance to ensure we can operate safely for everyone, while still providing high levels of service to support you with your studies.

You can find out more about our services for 2020-2021 within this guide.

Read our blog post to hear from Mike Wall, Assistant Director and Deputy Librarian for University Library and Collections, as he welcomes you all and explains a little about what to expect from us this year.

University Library and Collections will continue to support you by providing: 

  • access to our extensive collections of printed items, mediaeval manuscripts, maps, photographs, objects and artworks, as well as ebooks, ejournals and databases 

  • specialist support from our Faculty Librarians  

  • access to study spaces and facilities including printing, photocopying, PCs and scanning  

  • support and information from our friendly and approachable staff through our Virtual Enquiry Desk.

Our highlights 

  • We have a wide range of online resources available - you can browse over 400,000 ebooks and around 20,000 ejournals, ensuring you can access the information you need online 

  • We now have a bookable system in place to visit Bill Bryson Library for our Browse and Borrow service and individual study spaces, and the Teaching and Learning Centre for individual and group study spaces. Access to Special Collections is by appointment only, through the Barker Research Library. This system allows for a safer environment for staff and students with the current social distancing guidelines. This bookable system will be in place for all our Library and Collections buildings as they re-open throughout the year. (see Our Libraries for more information) 

  • Study spaces are also available at Leazes Road and the Durham University Business School

  • Our Discover database enables you to search most of our library, museum and special collections in one place; directly access our extensive range of ejournals and ebooks; and view high quality scanned images of some of the objects in our museums and archives collections. 

  • You will have an online reading list for each module. This will direct you to your essential reading, and in many cases link directly to an electronic copy.

  • Our museums will remain closed to the public until the early part of 2021; however, collections are still available for teaching activity and research, strictly by appointment. 

We are constantly reviewing and re-assessing our services, capacities and access to our buildings and will continue to develop our services as best we can to meet your needs.  

We need to ask you to do the following:

  • Plan and manage your independent study time – you will need to pre-book to access the Bill Bryson Library and study spaces at the Teaching and Learning Centre. You won't be able to access the buildings without a booking.

  • Please wear a face covering at all times within our buildings and study spaces, even when sitting at your study desk (unless you are exempt).

  • Follow the one-way routes in the libraries and study spaces and maintain social distancing of 2m.

  • Please ensure good hand hygiene when entering and leaving our buildings and using study desks. 

  • We are operating a clean as you go process – please wipe down all desks, work areas and shared library equipment before and after use, and put all rubbish in the bins provided.

  • Keep up to date – check our webpages regularly for any changes and enhancements to services and opening times. 

We aim to provide you with our Library and Collections services, whatever this year brings. If you have any queries, please contact our Virtual Enquiry Desk

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