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

What's on

See our News Updates for latest details of the exhibitions in the Record Office entrance and forthcoming talks.

Family History courses

We offer three-week Family History Courses for Beginners 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. Sessions run for 1.5 hours.

If you are happy with the family history basics, we also offer a series of Branching Out sessions 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 in our News Updates.

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, and cost £2.

Evening talks run for 1.5 hours, from 6.30pm to 8pm, and cost £5.

See our News Updates for latest details.


There are two free exhibitions in the corridor leading to the Record Office search room.

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.

On the left hand side you'll find a temporary exhibition which is usually on display for several months. Our current exhibition is an in-depth study of the Trench Raid at Cherisy, 15 September 1917, including a series of aerial photographs, enlarged so that you can see individual soldiers taking part in a First World War trench raid. This will be on display until mid-2018.

Open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm.

Inside a strongroom

Inside a strongroom