Archives we have

We hold the largest collection of historic material relating to the ancient county of Kent, most of which you can access. The collections are made up of printed, manuscript (original) and audio-visual material.

Read our guide to the archive collections (PDF, 518.5 KB) (PDF, 526.0 KB) for a full list of the collections we hold.

Examples of documents:

  • parish registers (records of marriages, baptisms and burials)
  • tithes (payment in kind to support the parish church and its clergy)
  • probate records (wills)
  • bishops' transcripts
  • official documents
  • records of local administration and businesses
  • records of estates and landed families
  • personal items such as letters and diaries.

Local history collections

The local history collections cover the whole of historic Kent, including Medway and former Kent parishes which are now part of Greater London.

The collection includes:

  • county histories
  • guide books
  • county and town directories
  • listed buildings lists
  • books and pamphlets relating to individual towns and parishes
  • biographies
  • periodicals
  • local newspapers
  • historic maps
  • audio-visual material
  • photos, prints, postcards and other images.

Finding archives

The local history books and periodicals are included in the Kent libraries online catalogue or you can view archival collections via the Kent Archives website.

You can search the catalogue by keywords, the name of the author, the book's title, Dewey classification number or finding number (the document's unique reference).

Not all the archive catalogues are available online, in the meantime, you can also check paper catalogues and index cards at the Kent History and Library Centre.