Durham Dean and Chapter Library

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The Crucifixion from the Durham Gospels.

The Durham Dean and Chapter Library (also Durham Cathedral Library) is located in Durham Cathedral, Durham, England. Founded in 995 AD, it is one of the largest English cathedral libraries.William de St-Calais donated 46 books[1] In the 1800s, it was located in the Old Frater House, or Monk's Hall, on the south side of the cathedral's cloisters, situated there in 1680 by Dean John Sudbury, who fitted up the building. [2]


The Durham Gospels, a very incomplete late 7th century insular Gospel Book, are a notable part of the library's holdings. There are 75,000 volumes and 60 incunabula. Of the 2,000 manuscripts, 360 are of medieval era. The special collections contain Early music. The papers of George Allan, Christopher Hunter, Joseph Barber Lightfoot, James Raine, Ian Ramsey, Thomas Randall, Sir Cuthbert Sharp, and Robert Surtees are also part of the collections.[1] The library houses three copies of the Magna Carta, including one dated November 12, 1216, and another dated February 11, 1224. There is also a copy of the Bible in four volumes, folio, which is 600 years old; and five history books by Bede.[2] A copy of a manuscript describing the life of St Catherine of Alexandria was located in the library in the 12th century.[3]


Coordinates: 54°46′23″N 1°34′36″W / 54.77294°N 1.57676°W / 54.77294; -1.57676