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Search the Database


If you would like to search the Museum Collection, Library and/or Archive databases click here.


To help you find what you are looking for, please see the notes below:

Notes for searchers

Simple search

This allows you to search all three databases (Museum objects, library and archive) for a single word that appears in the title [or description].

Advanced search

You can search only one database at a time using the Advanced Search facility.  Make sure you use the drop-down list to select the appropriate database.  However, you can search in a number of fields that are not searched using the Simple Search.

Expert Search

You can search only one database at a time using the Expert Search facility.  Make sure you use the drop-down list to select the appropriate database.   However, you can use the drop-down lists to select the field(s) to be searched.  If you want to use more than one field, click on the plus sign (+) to add additional search fields.

Using the search results for the Archives database


Click on the entry or entries you want to look at.  This will take you to the catalogue entry and also show you its place in the whole catalogue (see Hierarchy Browser below the search results).  You can click on the plus sign (+) beside any entry in the Hierarchy browser to see the related entries (at a more detailed level).

If you want to visit the Reading Room to look at any of the archives, please contact us to book a visit and order documents using the reference number. See User Resources.

If you want to request a copy of a document, please see our reprographics policy and/or contact us at libraryandarchives@thebowesmuseum.org.uk and we will:

·        See whether the item can be copied

·        Advise you on possible methods and costs of copying

·        Send you the appropriate order form

Information about closing


19 March 2020

Unfortunately, due to the continuing development of the Coronavirus situation, The Bowes Museum is now closed until further notice. The health and wellbeing of both our customers and our staff is our priority.

Where events can be rescheduled we will endeavour to do so but please be assured that all ticket holders for cancelled events have options on refunds and can contact info@thebowesmuseum.org.uk, however by not requesting a refund you would be making an exceptionally generous and much appreciated charitable donation to The Bowes Museum during these unprecedented times.

Whilst the Museum is closed, we will be working on other ways of sharing our story and collection via our digital platforms. Stay posted for online videos, conversations and more.

We thank you for your patience and your continued support for The Bowes Museum during this unpredictable time. We hope to come back to you with a reopening date shortly, for now, please stay safe and help protect the vulnerable.

25 March 2020

It is with great sadness that The Bowes Museum has taken the decision to temporarily close all gates to the grounds following a spate of vandalism around the parkland.

Since the Museum closed on Wednesday 18 March the benches in the story area have been damaged, the totem pole pulled over and broken, there have been attempts to pull out outdoor trail markers and branches have been pulled down and plants uprooted.

The Museum is working with the police to find the perpetrators of these actions. PC Michael Banks of Durham Constabulary said "This is a shameful piece of criminal damage within the grounds of a historical location in Barnard Castle anyone with information please contact Durham Constabulary quoting reference number DHM23032020-0189"

The Director of The Bowes Museum, Adrian Jenkins, said: "It is a shame that the actions of a few will have an impact on many but this closure also ties in with the latest government advice to stay at home to help restrict the spread of coronavirus and the Museum is following in the footsteps of other organisations who have closed gated parks and gardens.

There are tips from our education officer on the Museum's social media platforms for keeping the kids, and yourselves, entertained while in isolation and we'll be updating the website regularly with new and exciting information about the collection.

In the meantime, please keep safe and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Museum and grounds when it reopens."

You can keep up to date with developments here or on our Facebook and Twitter.

We’ll be back…