The Bowes Museum > Collection > Library & Archive > Search the Database

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

The Bowes Museum grounds are open!


Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors. However, the grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 - 4.00 daily, and we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, two spring trails and outdoor guided tours are available from 29 March 2021.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Café Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.