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Archives and Special Collections: Virtual Search Room

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.

Ask DULib, Library Help

Accessing our collections virtually

Free  ||  Available to all  ||  1-hour sessions  ||  Fridays (3 working days' notice)  ||  Zoom

Our virtual service is available to enable Durham University members and external researchers to consult our collections remotely, by booking in time with a member of staff and a digital visualiser.  The Virtual Search Room is currently available for collections housed at Palace Green Library on a limited, pre-booked basis, and we hope to expand this service to collections at Ushaw College Library and 5 The College according to demand and staff availability.

Please use the online form to register an interest in this service.

  • Items requested must be inaccessible elsewhere and not already online
  • An item’s condition or format must be suitable for presentation in this way.

A member of our Archives and Special Collections staff will operate a digital visualiser to livestream an overhead view of an item to your PC or laptop. All you will need is an email account, zoom, an internet browser and, as the livestream has audio, a working speaker and microphone. We can answer the odd question as necessary, just as we would in our Search Room in normal times, but cannot offer detailed interpretation or contextualisation.

Virtual Search Room sessions might best be used to closely consult a very small number of documents or items, or to browse a few files in order to narrow down a list of items to be copied. When we have received your form we will review what it is you have requested to see and then be in touch to confirm or advise further.