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

What's on

Information about family history and local history events in Durham County Record Office.

See Events in our online shop for latest details of forthcoming courses and talks.

Family History courses

Family History for Beginners is a three-week course that runs on weekday mornings or evenings throughout the year. Perfect for budding genealogists looking for some help to get started, each course is led by an archivist and costs £30. All sessions run for 1.5 hours.

Branching Out sessions are designed for people who are  happy with the family history basics. They run on weekday mornings and evenings throughout the year.

Each two-hour session combines an introduction to popular topics, such as Parish Registers or Tracing 20th Century Relatives, with about an hour of browsing time, when you can use the microfilm and computers, browse the library and explore the Record Office in a structured and supportive environment. Branching Out sessions cost £10 each.

You'll find full details of forthcoming courses and how to book on the Record Office online shop.

Third Thursday talks

Our programme of 'Third Thursday' talks offers fascinating new insights into the archive collections at Durham County Record Office. Presented by local archivists and guest speakers, this is your opportunity to hear experts sharing their discoveries about the archive collections they know and love.

Talks are held in the Record Office search room on the third Thursday of alternate months.

Lunchtime talks run for 45 minutes, from 12.30pm to 1.15pm.
Evening talks run for 1.5 hours, from 6.30pm to 8pm.

All talks are now free (donations welcome on the day). 

See Events in our online shop for latest details.


You can always find free exhibitions in the corridor leading to the Record Office search room.

Treasures from the archives

On the right hand side there's a permanent exhibition showcasing some of the treaures from our archive collections, including charters, estate maps, pit pony photos, an illustrated travel journal and the vivid artwork of a Durham Light Infantry First World War chaplain.

Temporary exhibitions

On the left hand side you'll find one or more temporary exhibitions which are usually on display for several months.

See more about our current exhibitions here:
Current exhibitions at the Record Office , published 25 July 2019.

Our exhibition space is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm (excluding bank holidays and Christmas to New Year).