Kent History and Library Centre
The new centre is purpose built to protect
and give people access to more of our archive
material, and to provide a 21st century library in the heart of
Kent. It houses around 14 kilometres of historic material relating
to Kent dating back to 699 AD and is the place to come for
anyone interested in local history.
Location, travel and opening times details
- Food and drink is available for visitors
in a restaurant, as part of the Housing 21 residential block.
@The Pantry Food
House is open to everyone all day everyday from 8am to
7.30pm and serves freshly prepared light bites and daily
- Parking - There are plenty of cycle
parking and designated parking spaces for Blue Badge holders
at the front of the building.
Pay & Display spaces are available by the football ground near
the library on James Whatman Way (for fees check the
Maidstone Borough Council car parks webpage). There are further
short term Pay & Display spaces across the road in the White
Rabbit car park. The nearest long term car parks are Fremlin
Walk and the Maidstone East railway station car park
(5 minutes walk away).
- Buses - Stops for routes 101,
150 and 155 are situated just beyond the right-hand side of
the building and on the opposite side of the dual-carriage
Green travel options to Kent History and Library
More photos of the centre can be seen on
Interested in Kent history?
The Kent History and Library Centre is specially designed to
promote research into family and local history, by individuals and
- one-stop shop for local history research: Kent’s wonderful
archives and local history under one roof
- state-of-the-art public search room for consulting original
documents, older books and local studies material
- superb photocopying and photography facilities
- free access to history
websites - including Ancestry and Find my
- meeting room bookable for holding group meetings
- dedicated Community History Room – perfect for holding history
- advice from experts in reading old handwriting (palaeography),
Latin, locating sources, research topics, conserving books and
- courses on reading old handwriting and Latin – ask for
- exciting programmes of exhibitions and talks
Looking for a history group to join/contact another community history or heritage group? We can put
you in touch with your nearest one.
Advice for visitors
If you wish to access archives and are new to the
centre please read
our guide (PDF, 377k).
We advise you to book in advance if you wish to consult original
records. Once in the centre, check in at the enquiry desk at the
back of the Community History section (left side of the building).
You will be given your desk number and locker key. Only
pencil, paper and/or a laptop can be taken into the searchroom
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.
Check What's on in Kent
Local for details of events. You can find
out more about library services from the libraries pages.
Note: The Centre (KHLC) replaces the Centre for Kentish
Studies, East Kent Archives Centre, County Central and Maidstone
(St Faiths Street) libraries. The Music and Drama
collection that was originally at CCL has been moved
Gibson Drive at Kings Hill.