Small Gifts and Deposits

Scope and Content

The contents of the collection, which date from the 13th to the 20th century, are very miscellaneous but, in addition to many deeds, include, for instance, some examples of the following types of records: manorial records, accounts (includingsome Durham Bishopric estate account rolls), ecclesiastical records (Church of England diocese of Durham), business records, solicitors' papers, legal records, electoral and political papers, papers concerning the Durham City guilds, including theDurham City goldsmiths' (now plumbers') company, University of Durham records, personal papers, correspondence, biographical and genealogical notes, photographs, plans, prints and printed journals and pamphlets. Most items are originals but a feware copies.

Most accessions concern the North-East of England, including Northumberland and Yorkshire but with Durham City and County Durham being particularly well represented. There are also odd items relating to Bedfordshire, Kent, Lincolnshire andScotland and to Africa, Canada, China, Corfu, France and the United States of America.

Administrative / Biographical History

This series was created by the Department of Palaeography and Diplomatic of the University of Durham in February 1965 in order to deal with:

  • a) various small miscellaneous accessions, primarily archival material of local interest,which had been received by the Department since its foundation in 1948 but which had not previously been classified or listed
  • b) future accessions of similar miscellaneous items or groups received by the Department.

Accessions to this series have continued to accrue since 1965, although it is now reserved entirely for miscellaneous small accessions of material relating solely to the North-East of England. The series is now administered by Durham UniversityLibrary Archives and Special Collections department, which was formed in 1990 and incorporates the former Department of Palaeography and Diplomatic.


The documents have been boxed in order of accession, with separate series for outsize items. Some accessions in this series comprise several boxes of documents but the majority consist of either individual documents or just a few items.

See also separate descriptions of individual accessions.

Access Information

See separate descriptions of individual accessions.

Acquisition Information

Individual items and groups in this series have been donated or deposited since shortly after 1948. See separate descriptions of individual accessions for further details.

Other Finding Aids

Online version of a summary list (in need of revision) relating to SGD nos.1-105 (with some gaps later in the sequence), together with draft entries for some subsequent accessions up to SGD no.132, is available online at online catalogue

The most recent accessions have not yet been added to this list. The summary list gives a brief general description and a date or covering dates for each SGD accession.

More detailed catalogues have been produced for some SGD accessions and these are also available online via the above URL, following the appropriate entry in the summary list.

Manuscript alphabetical card-indexes of names of persons, places and subjects occurring in the lists of SGD nos.1-94 are available for consultation in the Archives and Special Collections department's search room.

Plans from the collection are also included in the manuscript card-index of maps and plans in the Archives and Special Collections department search room.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assistwhere possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Custodial History

See separate descriptions of individual accessions.


Additions to the series continue to be received from time to time.

Related Material

Additional MSS.