About the collection

The Story brings together five different collections of historic records, documents and objects. Together these collections reveal fascinating glimpses into the lives of people throughout County Durham’s history.

Illustration of two women in the woods
Photo of a person viewing a book from the archive.

Access our Archives

Access to all collections is in purpose-built facilities on the first floor of the new building, with interactive screens and 16 computer terminals for accessing digital content, a secure research area (the ‘collections room’) for viewing collection items from the strong rooms and a separate reception area for enquiries relating to historic civil registration. On demand access to the Historic Environment Record (HER), the collections database and popular records such as church registers and newspapers will be available digitally in our ‘Search and Discover’ space.

While many collection items will be available ‘on demand’ some, including larger objects, will require several days’ notice.

Online Collection Search

Our Online Collection Search is state-of-the-art and, with the help of AI, is always learning – helping you to find hidden treasures across our collections. Explore the five collections we hold, together in the same place, and see what you can discover.

Old sepia photograph of 9 men in suits holding instruments