Durham Priory Library Recreated, an exciting collaborative digitization project between Durham University and Durham Cathedral, has been launched. The project aims to create an online, digital version of Durham Cathedral’s Priory Library, which is Britain’s best preserved medieval and Renaissance monastic library and a collection of international significance. With around 480 manuscript volumes dating from the sixth century and 110 pre-1540 printed books, the Durham Priory Library includes masterpieces of calligraphy and illumination that shed light on European historical and textual traditions, calligraphic practices and patterns of use through this period.

By re-uniting the entire collection for the first time since its dispersal due to the Dissolution in 1539, Durham University and Durham Cathedral hope that the project will encourage a surge of related academic research and activity, leading to both a better understanding of the life of Durham’s priory and also fresh insights into evolving intellectual, religious and artistic trends over the centuries.

Find further information about the project through the following media:

  • A Project Notice (PDF available here) which summarises the initiative and provides contact details of relevant University and Cathedral staff for enquiries and expressions of interest / support;
  • The project website: We will be adding further information and functionality to the website as the project progresses;
  • A Demonstration Site ( where images of the manuscripts digitized so far can be accessed by clicking anywhere on the screen;
  • A video profiling the Durham Priory Library Recreated project: The video features Professor Faith Wallis, a Visiting Fellow from McGill University, Canada;
  • An example of news coverage generated by our recent project launch.

The link to the project website will be added to the “Useful Links” page in the Resources section of our website!