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Plan Your Visit

Find out everything you need to know to get the most from your visit: how to find us, opening times and more. Plus, everything you need to know if you or anyone in your group has any special needs or requirements.

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Welcome to the Year of the Dragon

Celebrate the start of the New Year with our special dragon themed displays.

As part of the Oriental Museum's ongoing commitment to updating and developing our permanent displays, we are creating new displays focused on our world class collections of Chinese ceramics. State of the art new display cases have now been installed in the MacDonald gallery. Before we create the new permanent displays of Chinese ceramics we are celebrating the start of the Year of the Dragon with a special display until 3rd March 2024.

Lunar New Year decorations displayed in museum

Human Remains

Views on the proper care, use and display of human remains have varied widely over time and across the cultures of the world. Several of the cultures represented in this museum have used skeletal remains in the creation of important cultural artefacts and visitors should be aware that examples of these are exhibited in the Tibetan and Ancient Egyptian displays. Our staff treat all human remains with dignity, care and respect.   

More information on our policy for Human Remains is available here.

BCE and CE

These abbreviations are used throughout the museum for dating. BCE stands for ‘Before Common Era’ and CE stands for ‘Common Era’. The numbering of these years is identical to that used in the BC/AD system. The cultures represented in this museum have used a variety of different dating systems; using BCE/CE allows us to provide a common dating scheme for all the objects on display.

Two people stand in front of a curved desk speaking to a staff member behind the desk dressed in a purple shirt. Behind them, a shop is visible with display shelves on two walls.

The Keep of Durham Castle from the Courtyard, on the right is the Gatehouse, at the top right is the Keep and then on the left the Tunstall Gallery, Chapel and Tower, with students gathered in the Courtyard

Contact us

If you need additional help in planning your visit, you can contact us by email or phone.

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This is a superb free museum full of well displayed arts and crafts from Asia and ancient Egypt, and housed in Durham University. It deserves to be better known as it is only a moderate walk from Durham Cathedral and city centre. Even if you only have a passing interest in the East you will find something of interest here from Egyptian mummies to modern day Covid posters and all sorts of beautiful artifacts from the centuries in between. Do visit soon.
Grimreaper21, England