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The Kent History and Library Centre looks after historic material dating back to 699AD. It's the place to come for anyone interested in local history.
It is also the the main library for the Maidstone area.
The community history area holds a good range of books on the history of the county – some are general history books and others relate to specific places or subjects. Most of the books are for reference only but there is also a lending collection. Only a small proportion of the main book collection is available in the community history area and to find out what else is available you will need to search the library catalogue.
Computers are available in the community history area to help you with your research. Use our archive catalogue to get an overview of the documents we keep at the History and Library Centre. If you find something you'd like to look at in more detail, make a note of the finding number and ask a member of staff to retrieve the document for viewing in the search room.
You can also use Kent History Source on any of our computers to view:
Find out about accessing the archives.
We offer a research service for help with:
We charge £35 per hour (with a minimum charge of £8.75). Mark any correspondence for attention of the researcher. Research may take several weeks to be completed, and in some cases it may not be possible to carry out research due to the pressure on the service. Contact us on 03000 41 31 31 for more information.
If you're looking for a history group to join or want to contact another community history or heritage group, we can put you in touch with your nearest one.
The library offers 40,000 books and is host to a regular programme of activities such as regular storytime and baby bounce and rhyme sessions. The centre also hosts author events, reading groups and other community activities. There are public computers with free access to office software and the internet and we offer support for those needing help to get online.