Durham Cathedral Library

Last updated January 2018
Name of library Durham Cathedral Library
Address Durham Cathedral Library, The College, Durham, DH1 3EH.
Telephone 0191 3862489
E-mail library@durhamcathedral.co.uk
Website https://www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/heritage/library
Alternative names The Sharp Library at Durham Cathedral

The Chapter Library at Durham Cathedral

Contact & Job Title Sarah-Jane Raymond, Assistant Librarian.
Purpose & main user community of the library Durham Cathedral Library consists of the Sharp Library and the Chapter Library.The Sharp Library is owned by the Lord Crewe Trustees and is administered on their behalf by Durham Cathedral. It is a modern theological lending library of around 10,000 volumes. Its key users are students of Durham University – specifically students of Theology and History; university staff; clergy; ordinands; and local residents with an interest in theology or related subjects.

The Chapter Library is owned by Durham Cathedral. It covers subjects including theology, local history, cathedral history, general church history, and also volumes that support the study of our special collections – particularly medieval manuscripts but also the music and antiquary collections. Its key users are students of Durham University – specifically students of Theology and History; university staff; clergy; ordinands; local residents with an interest in any of the above related subjects; and visiting researchers or readers from other institutions with an interest in the special collections held at Durham Cathedral.

Terms of access Durham Cathedral Library is accessed through Durham Cathedral’s Open Treasure exhibition spaces. Access is given to Durham University staff and students with a valid campus card, local readers with a diocesan reader card, and anyone who mentions wanting to access the library at the Open Treasure exhibition desk, who intends to set up membership.

Special collections are viewable by appointment only; please email the library for further information.

Opening hours Monday-Friday, 10.00am-4.30pm (last entry at 4.00pm).

The reading room is typically open Tuesday-Thursday, 10.00am-1.00pm and 2.00pm-4.30pm; please email the library for further information.

It is sometimes necessary to close the library during exhibition changeover periods (usually three to four weeks per year) – please check the library website and twitter account (@bedesbooks) for further information.

Disabled access There is an accessible lift which provides disabled access to both the Sharp Library and the Barker Reading Room.
Lending to other libraries & visitors It is not possible to lend out any of our volumes on inter-library loan.
Number of volumes Sharp Library: around 10,000 modern theological works, with titles being added to stock monthly.

Chapter Library: around 70,000 volumes in total, including around 40,000 books and periodicals dated between 1850-present and 30,000 special collections items. Titles are regularly added to stock.

Periodicals – Back Issues We hold a vast range of both current and completed periodical runs, including (but not limited to): -Analecta Bollandiana, -Archaeologia Aeliana, -The Archaeology Journal, -Art and Christianity, -The Bampton lectures, -The Church Guardian (complete run),  -The Church Times, -The Canterbury and York Society, -Harleian Society, -The Library, -Monastic Research Bulletin, -Newcastle-upon-Tyne Society of Antiquaries, -Northern History, -Pipe Roll accounts, -Recherches de Theologie et Philosophie Medievales, -Scriptorium, -Surtees Society, -The Tablet, -Wesley Historical Society
Current Periodicals Some of the periodicals we still subscribe to include:

-Archaeologia Aeliana, -The Archaeology Journal, -The Church Times, -The Library, -Northern History, -Recherches de Theologie et Philosophie Medievals, -Pipe Roll accounts, -Scriptorium, -Surtees Society, -The Tablet, -Wesley Historical Society

Other materials  
Volumes added per year Variable – usually between 100-150 new Chapter Library books added to stock each year, and somewhere between 150-250 new Sharp Library books added to stock each year.
Special Collections Around 350 medieval manuscripts, around 300 of which were part of the pre-Reformation monastic collection in Durham.

Around 100 incunabula volumes (dating 1470s-1500).

Around 30,000 early printed books held in the Refectory Library – dating from 1501-1850.

A vast manuscript and printed music collection.

Around 1,000 antiquarian manuscripts and printed works, mainly dating from the 16th-18th centuries.

For further information on, or specific requests concerning any of the special collections, please email the library directly.

Manuscripts Around 300 medieval manuscripts are still in the collection which were part of Durham’s Priory pre-Reformation monastic collection.

There is a vast collection of music manuscripts available for consultation (primarily 16th-18th century), and much of the antiquarian collection is also in manuscript form.

Research resource  
Catalogue Type Varied. All of the Sharp Library books, and all Chapter Library books acquired post 2003 are catalogued electronically and available through Durham University’s online catalogue. There is an ongoing retrospective cataloguing project underway, to eventually have all post-1850 Chapter Library books catalogued electronically. The remaining Chapter Library books (acquired pre-2003 and not yet electronically catalogued), and all of the early printed books in the Refectory Library, are searchable through a sheaf catalogue held on site (author/title, provenance, imprint and shelflist catalogues available). The manuscript and music catalogues are in printed books. The antiquary collection is mainly catalogued through handlists held on site. Please email the library with any catalogue queries or concerns.
URL of catalogue Sharp Library catalogue discoverable through: https://library.dur.ac.uk/ (select ‘Durham Cathedral Library’ from dropdown menu).
Other facilities Photocopier on site. Imaging Services offered.
Full Time Staff 2 – Head of Collections and Assistant Librarian
Part Time Staff 1 – designated part-time library staff member (Imaging Services Officer)

12 – part-time gallery staff who also cover shifts at the issue desk

Voluntary Staff 10 – library volunteers who work fortnightly shifts to assist the gallery staff in the front facing running of the Sharp Library
Changes in next five years affecting the above Unknown at present.
Anything else about the library We have what appears to be quite a complicated manner of operation – so if you are in any doubt, or confused in any way, please do feel free to email the library and we’ll do all we can to help!