Durham University Library

Durham University Library

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Durham University Library

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The Durham University Library is the centrally-administered library of Durham University in England. It was founded in January 1833 at Palace Green by a 160 volume donation by the then Bishop of Durham, William Van Mildert and now holds over 1.5 million printed items. The University Library comprises four separate libraries:
  • Main Library
  • Education Library
  • Palace Green Library
  • Queen's Campus Library


Cosin's Library

After the donation by Bishop William Van Mildert, a suitable location to house the library's stock had to be founded and thus a gallery had to be constructed onto the Cosin's Library (a Diocesan library founded in 1669 by Bishop John Cosin located on Palace Green) in 1834. The original Cosin's library is still located at Palace Green and along with its collection of medieval manuscripts and early printed books became under the trusteeship of the University Library in 1937.

Cosin's Library is a grade one listed building and is located in an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The internal architecture and decoration are also of international importance. The original portrait panels located above the bookshelves were painted by Jan Baptist van Eerssell in 1668-9, further portraits hang in the library including half portraits of English statesmen. Nearly three hundred years later a former University Librarian, David Ramage, completed Cosin's original plan for the library by painting further portrait panels for the smaller room...
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