The Cathedral Library

We look after a vast collection dating from the 600s to the present. Learn more about its history and collections.

There has been a library at Durham Cathedral for over 900 years.

From pages handwritten in the 500s to the latest new books, we look after a vast collection of over 50,000 items.

Over the centuries, the library has moved from bookshelves in the Cloisters to the beautiful Refectory Library in the 1680s. By the 1850s, a new library, called the Chapter Library, was built in the Monks' Dormitory. Librarians still add books to the shelves today.

Read our blog on the library's long history