Palace Green Library

Palace Green Library Palace Green Library, in the heart of Durham city, holds Durham University's special collections. Our galleries are open to all and display treasures spann
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In 1962, Norman Cornish was asked to paint a mural for the new Durham County Council building. It was a 30’x6’ design cr...
20/12/2019

In 1962, Norman Cornish was asked to paint a mural for the new Durham County Council building. It was a 30’x6’ design created to capture the spirit of the minors Gala. He added people in the parade including himself. See if you can find him.
#NormanCornish100 #FridayExhibitions

'I have tried to draw and paint pictures which I hope will let people know what it felt like to live in my bit of time, ...
19/12/2019

'I have tried to draw and paint pictures which I hope will let people know what it felt like to live in my bit of time, my own slice of history.'
Come see Norman Cornish: The Sketchbooks and learn about his slice of history.
#normancornishcentenary #NormanCornish100

As a miner, Norman Cornish was not conscripted to fight in WWII as his profession was seen as essential to the war effor...
18/12/2019

As a miner, Norman Cornish was not conscripted to fight in WWII as his profession was seen as essential to the war efforts, he helped where he could doing his part for fire watch. He continued to sketch and about this time, moved towards genre painting, painting the people and the environment around him.
#normancornishcentenary #NormanCornish100

We're super excited to announce that we have been awarded funding by #ArtsCouncilEngland for a project to develop the re...
17/12/2019

We're super excited to announce that we have been awarded funding by #ArtsCouncilEngland for a project to develop the research potential of #CosinsLibrary and to share our knowledge of this amazing building and collection with the wider world. More details are on the Durham University news pages: https://www.dur.ac.uk/research/news/item/?id=40622&itemno=40622

We'll be sharing updates via the University Library and Collections blog as well as here and on our Twitter account.

‘After walking along this road, it naturally becomes a significant part of ones life. To watch the men ahead of you plod...
17/12/2019

‘After walking along this road, it naturally becomes a significant part of ones life. To watch the men ahead of you plodding resignedly through this man-made world is a subject which demands to be drawn again and again.’ #normancornish100 #normancornishcentenary #sketches #sketchbooks

Family Activities are now taking a break over Christmas to enjoy mince pies, yule logs and scrummy hot chocolate.We will...
16/12/2019

Family Activities are now taking a break over Christmas to enjoy mince pies, yule logs and scrummy hot chocolate.

We will be back on 4th January with Sketching and Smudging. We wish you all a good festive season.

We wish you all a good festive season

We wish you all a good festive season

We wish you all a good festive season

Little Bookworms will be taking a break over Christmas to enjoy mince pies and yule logs.Our last day will be 16th Decem...
16/12/2019

Little Bookworms will be taking a break over Christmas to enjoy mince pies and yule logs.

Our last day will be 16th December and will be back on 6th January with more messy fun.

We wish you all a good festive season

As of Sunday 22nd December our opening hours will be changing for the festive period.If you are visiting Durham between ...
16/12/2019

As of Sunday 22nd December our opening hours will be changing for the festive period.

If you are visiting Durham between 27th and 30th December why not pop in to see our latest exhibition Norman Cornish: The Sketchbooks.

Wishing you all the best this festive season.

13/12/2019

In 1950 Norman Cornish became involved in The Coal Miners exhibition near Leicester Square, he exhibited 5 paintings alongside people such as Henry Moore. It was here the press became more interested in Norman. Come see his work in Norman Cornish: The Sketchbooks this weekend!
#normancornishcentenary #NormanCornish100

'I believe, in some way, I have been influenced by every picture that I have ever looked at.' Norman Cornish Which paint...
12/12/2019

'I believe, in some way, I have been influenced by every picture that I have ever looked at.' Norman Cornish Which paintings have influenced you?
#normancornishcentenary #NormanCornish100

Norman Cornish was a member of a sketching club held in the Spennymoor Settlement. He applied at age 14 after seeing the...
11/12/2019

Norman Cornish was a member of a sketching club held in the Spennymoor Settlement. He applied at age 14 after seeing their annual exhibition in 1933. 'I thought I was in wonderland' he said. The group got a lot of publicity during exhibitions and were dubbed Pitman's Academy by the press.
#normancornishcentenary #NormanCornish100

'The pub with its warm, convivial atmosphere and air of intimacy forms a counterpoint to the harsh conditions undergroun...
10/12/2019

'The pub with its warm, convivial atmosphere and air of intimacy forms a counterpoint to the harsh conditions underground and the hardships of everyday life. Sitting in a pub with a pint of Newcastle Brown and a sketch book and pen at hand, Norman observed his fellow man and was always on the lookout for ‘interesting heads’ to record.' Norman Cornish: The Sketchbooks on until 23rd February at Palace Green Library.
#normancornishcentenary #NormanCornish100

In 1947, his artwork was bought by Dr Ravens to hang in the National Coal Boards London offices. This was followed by hi...
06/12/2019

In 1947, his artwork was bought by Dr Ravens to hang in the National Coal Boards London offices. This was followed by him asking Norman to help arrange and run an exhibtion in London called ‘Art by the Miner'. #NormanCornish100

'Many of the places that once helped make my world, have also passed into time. I made many drawings and paintings of pl...
05/12/2019

'Many of the places that once helped make my world, have also passed into time. I made many drawings and paintings of places and people that are now gone.' If you could draw a place that is no longer around today, what would it be? Visit Norman Cornish: The Sketchbooks to see what he loved to draw. #NormanCornis100 #ThursdayThoughts

While working as a miner, Norman Cornish never took his sketchbook to work. Most of his sketches of the pit were then dr...
04/12/2019

While working as a miner, Norman Cornish never took his sketchbook to work. Most of his sketches of the pit were then drawn from memory.
#NormanCornish100 #InternationalMiningDay

Sometimes head-dress can be worn so differently by different men. Sometimes shapes can be contrasted for effect: the man...
03/12/2019

Sometimes head-dress can be worn so differently by different men. Sometimes shapes can be contrasted for effect: the man reading world news with lively interest, whilst behind him, another man’s shape suggest he is trying to forget these matters.#NormanCornish100 #Sketchbooks

Norman Cornish held his first solo exhibtion in 1946 at the Green Room, People's Theatre in Newcastle. A play about mini...
29/11/2019

Norman Cornish held his first solo exhibtion in 1946 at the Green Room, People's Theatre in Newcastle. A play about mining was being performed in the theatre at the same time.

“I paint the past because like most creative people interested in humanity as a subject, I am concerned, and influenced ...
28/11/2019

“I paint the past because like most creative people interested in humanity as a subject, I am concerned, and influenced by, my whole lifetimes slice of historical experience, and not just a few modern days.” Norman Cornish sketches are on display now at Palace Green Library.

Norman Cornish began his mining career at 14. He started work at Dean and Chapter Colliery, nicknamed 'the Butchershop S...
27/11/2019

Norman Cornish began his mining career at 14. He started work at Dean and Chapter Colliery, nicknamed 'the Butchershop Shop' due to the number of accidents that took place. His sketches of the mines can be seen until 23 February.

'Suddenly, I notice a little old man. He is bent forward, looking in to a shop which organises trips abroad. He seems a ...
26/11/2019

'Suddenly, I notice a little old man. He is bent forward, looking in to a shop which organises trips abroad. He seems a poor man. His nose is almost touching the window, whilst his own reflection stares back at him. His long, tattered overcoat is reflected in the wet rectangular paving stones. In contrast to this, the posters in the window are of pictures of sun-drenched countries. The whole subject is full of interesting and powerful shapes and contrasts, with this little bit if humanity in the middle of it all. I have found my own personal world.' Norman Cornish: The Sketchbooks is open until 23 February

My sister Ella, was Norman cornish's first oil painting. It was chosen to be exhibited at the Laing Art Gallery in Newca...
22/11/2019

My sister Ella, was Norman cornish's first oil painting. It was chosen to be exhibited at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle as part of the 'Works of the Artists of Northern Countries' exhibition in 1940. See some of his sketches at Palace Green Library until 23 February.

Norman Cornish first appeared on television in 1947 where they broadcasted Picture Page live from London. Alexandra Pala...
21/11/2019

Norman Cornish first appeared on television in 1947 where they broadcasted Picture Page live from London. Alexandra Palace was the birthplace of BBC where the first public television transmissions were made. #NormanCornish100 #WorldTelevisionDay

At the age of 4, Norman Cornish won his first art award for his drawing of a lady's boot. He went for a day visit to Kin...
20/11/2019

At the age of 4, Norman Cornish won his first art award for his drawing of a lady's boot. He went for a day visit to King Street Primary school and won half penny which he used to buy sweets.
See a selection of his work in Norman Cornish: The Sketchbooks on now.

'I see two men having a close conversation in a pub, their shape resembles a bridge, with their heads together looking l...
19/11/2019

'I see two men having a close conversation in a pub, their shape resembles a bridge, with their heads together looking like key stones …. Their heads are together and conversation is a bridge between minds.'

Norman Cornish: The Sketchbooks is now open! Come visit us, and see this display of little seen sketchbooks. We are open...
16/11/2019

Norman Cornish: The Sketchbooks is now open! Come visit us, and see this display of little seen sketchbooks.
We are open 7 days a week, 10am to 5pm.

In 1935, Norman Cornish participated in his first exhibtion with the Spennymoor Settlement Sketching Club. Come see that...
15/11/2019
Norman Cornish

In 1935, Norman Cornish participated in his first exhibtion with the Spennymoor Settlement Sketching Club.
Come see that and more as Norman Cornish: The Sketchbooks opens tomorrow at Palace Green Library

Would like to learn more about Norman Cornish before hand?
https://normancornish.com/chronology

'I would like my sketchbookes to have a life of their own and be of interest to people. I hope they are not cast aside a...
14/11/2019

'I would like my sketchbookes to have a life of their own and be of interest to people. I hope they are not cast aside and forgotten but appreciated in some way. They should be available for the public to view and to teach people to look at things.' Norman Cornish
Norman Cornish: The Sketchbooks opens in 2 days.
#normancornishcentenar

A fan of Norman Cornish's watercolours asked why he did not paint in oils. When he replied he could not afford them, she...
13/11/2019

A fan of Norman Cornish's watercolours asked why he did not paint in oils. When he replied he could not afford them, she bought him his first set. Ella was his first painting using them.
#normanCornish100 #WorldKindnessDay

12/11/2019
Norman Cornish: The Sketchbooks exhibition

Visitor Services Team are trying to get a sneak peek at our upcoming exhibition which opens Saturday 16th at 10am.

They are getting excited, our exhibitions team have done and amazing job (well what we can see by squishing our face at the glass doors).
They wanted to share what they found.

'The men climbing the steps with their oil lamps looked like fireflies trapped in a great steel spiders web. As the shun...
12/11/2019

'The men climbing the steps with their oil lamps looked like fireflies trapped in a great steel spiders web. As the shunting engines passed below them, they became lost in a cloud of steam, which reflected the arched window lights of the colliery like a cinema screen.'
Norman Cornish: The Sketchbooks, 16 November- 23 February https://www.dur.ac.uk/palace.green/whatson/details/?id=42883

While living in Bishops Close Street as an adult, Norman Cornish  used one of the bedrooms in his miners terrace house t...
08/11/2019

While living in Bishops Close Street as an adult, Norman Cornish used one of the bedrooms in his miners terrace house to create his work. He was given his first home studio when he moved into Whitworth Terrace in 1967. This house was so big, he had enough space for a framing studio as well.
#NormanCornish100

“The paintings and drawings he brings to us of the hard-lived lives of a community which defied the odds will be endurin...
07/11/2019

“The paintings and drawings he brings to us of the hard-lived lives of a community which defied the odds will be enduring. He has not only preserved a life lived by millions of people in this country and others around the world, he has given it significance and permanence that only a real artist can achieve.” Melvyn Bragg of the BBC met Norman Cornish in 1962, he wrote the foreword for Norman cornish: Behind the Scenes, The Sketchbooks.
#NormanCornish100

Norman Cornish was born in Oxford Street, Spennymoor. He later moved to Bishops Close Street, where he grew up with his ...
06/11/2019

Norman Cornish was born in Oxford Street, Spennymoor. He later moved to Bishops Close Street, where he grew up with his six siblings. This small mining house is being recreated as part of the new 1950s town at Beamish.
#NormanCornish100

Joe Hughes and 'Tosser' Angus were members of the DLI conscripted into World War II. They were some of the last soldiers...
05/11/2019

Joe Hughes and 'Tosser' Angus were members of the DLI conscripted into World War II. They were some of the last soldiers to leave Dunkirk and spent time in Tunisia. After the war, they resumed their normal lives in the mining community.
#NormanCornish100

A huge thank you to everyone who supported and voted for us and to @Living_North for hosting an amazing event. Congratul...
02/11/2019

A huge thank you to everyone who supported and voted for us and to @Living_North for hosting an amazing event. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners last night. #performanceoftheyear

Of course we are looking forward to adding it to our awards display

Norman Cornish has been the subject of many books but it wasn't until 1987 he wrote his own autobiography. 'A Slice of L...
01/11/2019

Norman Cornish has been the subject of many books but it wasn't until 1987 he wrote his own autobiography. 'A Slice of Life' tells the story of his artistic progression, life in the northeast and his family. #NormanCornish100 #NationalAuthorsDay

Have you heard about our next exhibition? Part of the Norman Cornish Centenary celebration, 'Norman Cornish: The Sketchb...
30/10/2019

Have you heard about our next exhibition? Part of the Norman Cornish Centenary celebration, 'Norman Cornish: The Sketchbooks' will showcase little-seen sketchbooks and present a new dimension to the artist’s practice, focusing on his observations of life, landscapes and family, revealing the inner artistic processes behind some of his most iconic works.

After 3 years of conservation, renovation and a new lick of paint Auckland Castle is ready to reopen on 2nd November. Lo...
23/10/2019

After 3 years of conservation, renovation and a new lick of paint Auckland Castle is ready to reopen on 2nd November. Lovely to see the new changes. Now the day of castles as come to end I'm in need of a cuppa tea.

Now for @aucklandcastle sneek peak before it opens on 2nd November
23/10/2019

Now for @aucklandcastle sneek peak before it opens on 2nd November

A fantastic tour of Brancepeth Castle with @durham.castle.museum. Now onto Castle 2
23/10/2019

A fantastic tour of Brancepeth Castle with @durham.castle.museum. Now onto Castle 2

Tour of the castle that was home to the Neville family for 400 years @brancepethcastle
23/10/2019

Tour of the castle that was home to the Neville family for 400 years @brancepethcastle

A lovely stroll along Brandon lines now have arrived at castle number 1 @brancepethcastle
23/10/2019

A lovely stroll along Brandon lines now have arrived at castle number 1 @brancepethcastle

23/10/2019

A member of our team has a day of training and reviews.
They are looking forward to a day of castles @brancepethcastle @aucklandcastle

Keep an eye out for pictures

There is still time to vote for Bodies of Evidence as Performance of the year at the Living North Awards. Voting closes ...
18/10/2019
Performance of the Year Shortlist | Living North

There is still time to vote for Bodies of Evidence as Performance of the year at the Living North Awards.

Voting closes today at 5!

You can vote for your favourite below – please note, public votes will be considered when choosing the winner but are not the deciding factor. Votes close Friday 18th October.

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Palace Green Library, Palace Green
Durham
DH1 3RN

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
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Friday 09:00 - 17:00
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