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Palace Green Library is not one, but a collection of historic buildings, standing at the heart of the World Heritage Site on Durham’s Peninsula. The site was the University’s main library for 150 years, from 1833 to 1983, with the last ordinary books leaving for the Bill Bryson Library on South Road in 2011.   

Today, Palace Green Library is open to everyone - not just students and researchers - and is home to our Historic Libraries: Bamburgh, Routh and Cosin as well as Durham University’s Archives and Special Collections, and the Museum of Archaeology and World Heritage Visitor Centre.

Explore more

You can explore the story and evolution of the site and the buildings in the following pages.

Cosin's Library

Built between 1667-1669, Cosin’s Library is the jewel in the crown of the University’s historic library buildings and collections.
Cosin’s Library interior. A wooden table in front of large wooden bookcases filled with historic books.

The Exchequer Building

The Exchequer is the oldest part of the buildings which make up Palace Green Library, and is Grade I listed by Historic England.
Still from the panoramic tour of the Exchequer Building. The tour shows the layout of the Chancery Court (currently housing the Bamburgh Library).

University Library and George Pace Building

The impressive Victorian buildings to the left of main library entrance on Palace Green and the 1960s addition, hidden at the back of the site facing the riverbanks.
Palace Green Library Exterior