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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Durham Light Infantry Archives

Information about Durham Light Infantry (DLI) archives in Durham County Record Office.

The DLI regimental archive, part of the DLI collection, is located in County Hall, Durham. It is an extensive regimental archive, very popular with family historians and military researchers.

The archives complement the objects collection and the medal collection of the Durham Light Infantry regiment.

About the Collection

The Durham Light Infantry archive collection was transferred to Durham County Record Office from the former DLI Museum in 1998. This allowed Record Office staff to catalogue the archives and make them more accessible, both in our Search Room and online.

Now our online catalogue contains detailed descriptions of the records, and images of over 34,000 photographs in the collection.

We hold the collection on loan from the Trustees of the former DLI Regiment. People donate additional archive material to the collection on a regular basis. We also accept Durham Light Infantry records on long-term loan. Contact us for advice on how to preserve records for future generations.

Please  to consult the Durham Light Infantry records in our Search Room. Some of the most popular records, including war diaries and enlistment and discharge books, have been microfilmed to preserve the originals and you will need to book a microfilm reader to view them.

For more information about Durham Light Infantry photographs and oral history recordings see:


To reflect the diversity and popularity of the collection, we have catalogued the Durham Light Infantry records in as much detail as possible.

Every item in a scrapbook or photograph album is described and has a reference number. Where individuals are identified in photographs, all those names have been added to the catalogue.

Searching the Catalogue

You can search our online catalogue for specific words or phrases or browse entire Durham Light Infantry catalogues.

See Catalogue Search Help for examples of suggested Durham Light Infantry search terms.

To browse all catalogues in this collection, go to Search the Catalogue and select 'Durham Light Infantry Records' from the Catalogue Title drop-down list.

The online catalogue includes watermarked low-resolution images of the photographs in this collection.

Durham Light Infantry Records on The Learning Zone

See photographs and documents from the Durham Light Infantry collection in the Learning Zone section of our website. Four online learning units developed by our archive education service focus on DLI records.

Life and Death as a Soldier in World War One is useful if you want to know more about the Durham Light Infantry in the First World War.

Surviving Belsen describes how former Durham Light Infantry soldiers helped in the liberation of the infamous Belsen concentration camp at the end of the Second World War.

The Story of Jimmy Durham features a Sudanese boy adopted by and recruited into the 2nd Battalion DLI. Find out more about the 2nd Battalion in India, England and Ireland from 1885 to 1910.

Children of the British Empire looks at the Durham Light Infantry in India in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This unit includes photographs of the 68th Light Infantry, 2nd Battalion DLI and army families.

Online exhibition

 'We have come through' - remembering VE Day 1945 was produced to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe on 8 May 1945. The exhibition includes stories of Durham Light Infantry (DLI) soldiers serving in Europe and South East Asia from April to September 1945.

Durham Light Infantry and the First World War

Durham at War is our First World War Centenary project website. Here you'll find hundreds of stories about DLI soldiers, many contributed by volunteer researchers and family descendants.

Ordering Copies

We can supply copies of most documents and photographs in the collection for private study and non-commercial research.

You must apply to the County Archivist in writing for permission to reproduce any documents or photographs from the collection.