The Bowes Museum is very conscious of its history, and the remarkable survival of the collections and associated bills under one roof. It is also conscious of its position in the North of England as providing an aspect of European art history and collecting for the people of the North East, and a starting point for the more detailed researches into related history for local people and beyond. To that end, it has instigated a variety of research and cataloging projects that aim to make its collections better known, and provide access to the library and archive via a newly built reference library and reading room in the Museum’s dome.

Much work has been done in the past, and some key publications of the recent past that gives details of the Museum’s collections and history include:

Eric Young,  Catalogue of Spanish and Italian Paintings, Durham, 1970 (the Spanish section reprinted with an introduction by E.Conran in 1988)

Charles E. Hardy, John Bowes and The Bowes Museum, Newcastle/Gateshead, 1970 (and several subsequent editions)

Sarah Medlam,  ‘Mrs. Bowes' furniture in 19th century Paris’, The Antique Collector, March, 1983, pp.77-81

Elizabeth Conran et al, The Bowes Museum, London, Scala Publications, 1992

H. Coutts and S. Medlam, 'John and Joséphine Bowes' purchases from the International Exhibitions of 1862, 1867 and 1871', Journal Number Sixteen; Decorative Arts Society 1850 to the present, 1992 pp.50-61

Emma House[ed] entries in Oil Paintings in Public Ownership in County Durham [the Public Catalogue Foundation] 2008

In addition, the following exhibition catalogues may provide guidance as to the Museum’s range of research interests, which are often allied to its acquisitions and exhibitions policy:
 
Dennis Coggins, (with Joanna Hashagen, Jean Hemingway; Sarah Medlam and Alan Wilkinson), People and Patterns – the Carpet Industry in 19th Century Barnard Castle, 1996

Ivan Day, Royal Sugar Sculpture, 2002

Emma House, Michael Rudd, Tony Seward, Rokeby: Poetry and Landscape: Walter Scott and Turner in Teesdale, 2012-13

We are currently inviting submission of papers to explore themes and relationships from a wide range of perspectives and from a wide range of organisations, institutions and disciplines, from academics (historians, art historians, literary and film historians), museum curators and professionals, exhibition designers, technicians and craft-workers for a Seminar on The Period Room: Museum, Material, Experience in September...more

For further details of access and book collections, consult the library and archive section of this website.