Treasures of Durham University Library

Treasures of Durham University Library explores the extensive library collection through illuminating illustrated text and fascinating behind-the-scenes details. The historic core of the collection, which consists of over seventy thousand rare books and manuscripts printed before 1850, is the library assembled by John Cosin, bishop of Durham (1660-72) and the more recent deposit of the library from Bamburgh Castle.

The full collection of Durham University ranges from late antique papyri to modern literary manuscripts, as well as embracing substantial archival and photographic materials. The medieval manuscripts include the best-preserved service-book produced in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest, and a collection of the works of Thomas Hoccleve that was transcribed by the poet himself; while amongst the modern literary manuscripts are extracts from Kilvert's Diary and letters of Gerard Manley Hopkins.

''Surprisingly few people, including many within the university itself, are aware of just how extensive and diverse the University Library's holdings. This is clearly a collection worth knowing. It is a very real joy to welcome here such a handsome and readable survey.''

– Bill Bryson

Published1 June 2007