While in Durham, we had the privilege of taking a tour of Durham University's Palace Green Library, which is the home of the university's special collections library. The university's librarian, Jon Purcell, gave us a tour of the collections housed in the Palace Green Library, as well as a short history on the library and the castle.
The library was founded in the 17th century by Bishop John Cosin. One of the collections we visited was Bishop Cosin's library. Cosin founded his library as a public library for clergy and other scholarly visitors. The room we visited on our tour was the original place where Cosin built his library. Mr. Purcell told us that there have been modifications to the room to ensure preservation of the materials, but as a whole, the room remains very much like it was when Cosin built it.
Cosin created his own classification system. He had pictures of theologians surrounding the room, and the books by, or about, each theologian were placed underneath each respective picture. The library has kept this system the same over the years. Most of the collection is in french, and very rare, and everything has been cataloged for public access. The room itself is open to the public from 2pm-4pm three days a week.