Exhibitions and tours

Find out about our exhibitions and tours at the Kent History and Library Centre.

Tours

Join a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the archives and meet the Heritage Services team.

Book a tour or group visit

Talks

Join in on one of our talks at the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone. Call us on 03000 42 06 73 or email archives@kent.gov.uk for more information or to register your interest.

10 June 2019

Claire Bartram: 'Bookishness': Writing, Sharing and Collecting Books in Early Modern Kent

Location: Kent History and Library Centre

Time: 1pm - 2pm

Price: free

Claire examines famous and not-so-famous writers, readers and bibliophiles living in Kent and considers the social circumstances that underpins what Peter Laslett famously termed the 'bookish' reputation of the Kentish in Tudor times.

Claire Bartram teaches early modern literature at Canterbury Christ Church University and is especially interested in writers and readers living in Kent in the sixteenth century. She is editor of a book of essays forthcoming with Peter Lang on Kentish Book Culture 1400-1660.

24 June 2019

Deborah Collins: From Workhouse to Hospital - The Changing Role of the Workhouse

Location: Kent History and Library Centre

Time: 1pm - 2pm

Price: free

The editor of a website on Kent workhouses looks at how the workhouse, both the physical buildings and the running of them, changed with social and cultural developments.

Deborah Collins is a local historian specialising in the study of Kent Poor Law Unions and their interaction with the local community. She has a website on Kent Poor Law Unions and related topics.

15 July 2019

Mark Connelly: Ypres: transforming a Belgian city into an outpost of the British Empire, 1919-1939

Location: Kent History and Library Centre

Time: 1pm - 2pm

Price: free

As soon as the war ended, visitors began to arrive. Some wanted to find out where loved ones had fought and died while others wanted to see something of the reality of the battlefields for themselves.

Mark Connelly is Professor of Modern British History at the University of Kent. He works closely with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and has assisted the Department of Culture, Media and Sport with its activities during the First World War centenary.

18 July 2019

John Owen: Brewing and Distilling in Faversham and Maidstone

Location: Archbishop's Palace

Time: 6:30pm

Price: £12 (includes small free samples)

Talks by John Owen (Archivist of Shepherd Neame Plc) on ‘The Brewing Business during the First World War, with specific reference to Shepherd Neame’, and Helen Vining (Proprietor of Maiden Distillery) on ‘Maidstone’s distilling heritage’.

Interval sampling of craft beers and gins in the company of Dave Berry (Head Brewer of Cellarhead Brewing) and Helen Vining.

29 July 2019

Liz Finn: The Orchard Family: Loss, Heartbreak and Remembrance

Location: Kent History and Library Centre

Time: 1pm - 2pm

Price: free

More than 740,000 British servicemen were killed or died in the First World War. The story of the Orchard family from Folkestone illustrates the human cost of the war.

Liz Finn is an archivist with the Kent Archives Service, based at the Kent History and Library Centre. She currently combines her post of Community History Officer with a role as Manorial Documents Register Project Officer for Kent.

5 August 2019

Make a decorative paper notebook

Location: Kent History and Library Centre

Time: 1 - 2pm

Price: £5

The price includes the cost of material. Booking is essential as places are strictly limited.

19 August 2019

Make a leather bound notebook

Location: Kent History and Library Centre

Time: 1 - 2pm

Price: £5

The price includes the cost of material. Booking is essential as places are strictly limited.

9 September 2019

Peter Clarke: Clergy and Criminal Violence in later medieval Kent

Location: Kent History and Library Centre

Time: 1pm - 2pm

Price: free

A presentation of the speaker’s current research on clergy and criminal violence in later medieval England and Wales, with special reference to pre-1500 church court records in the Rochester and Canterbury diocese archives.

Peter D. Clarke is Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Southampton and specialises in later medieval religious history, especially the papacy and canon law.

28 September 2019

Lucit in Tenebris Veritas: The Records of Kent’s Two Dioceses (one-day conference)

Location: Kent History and Library Centre

Time: 10am

Price: £12 (includes a buffet lunch. Booking is essential).

Inspired by William Somner’s motto ‘Lucit in tenebris veritas’, a day to celebrate the unification of the Canterbury Diocese records under one roof, alongside the archive of Rochester Diocese. Our speakers will explore some of the rich diversity of material found in these collections, shedding light for family and local historians, students and academics alike on many aspects of personal and topographical as well as ecclesiastical history. Documents from both collections will be on display.

Papers by Ken Fincham (University of Kent) on the ‘Clergy of the Church of England Database’, Catherine Richardson (University of Kent) on the early modern household, Timothy Brittain-Catlin (University of Kent), on Queen Anne’s Bounty, Celia Heritage (Ancestry Progenealogists) on Wills and Probate Records for the family historian, Sheila Sweetinburgh (Canterbury Christ Church University) on lay piety in late medieval Kent and Paula Woolf (Trinity College Cambridge) on the involvement of women in early modern disputes over tithe.

9 October 2019

Maidstone on Film

Location: Archbishop's Palace

Time: 7pm

Price: £12 (includes refreshments)

This special programme takes us on an archive film tour of Maidstone and district from the 1930s to the 1960s. The films, all drawn from the collection of Screen Archive South East (SASE), feature:

  • the parade of Maidstone industries led by the Mayor of Maidstone, Councillor G. Tyrwhitt Drake (c. 1930)
  • auctioneers at work at the livestock market (1932)
  • the River Medway and its course through Aylesford Bridge, Allington Lock and East Farleigh (c. 1935)
  • a visit to Harold Potter, the miller at Chegworth Watermill (1946)
  • the Kent Show of 1951 (in colour) at Mote Park
  • the work of the Maidstone and District Motor Services
  • street scenes and landmarks from the 1960s.

Many of these films have never been seen before in public. SASE works in partnership with Kent Archives to collect, preserve, digitise, research and promote moving images made in Kent and the region. This show is presented by SASE and Kent Archives and Dr Frank Gray of SASE provides it with a commentary.

21 October 2019

James Lloyd: The White Horse of Kent

Location: Kent History and Library Centre

Time: 1pm - 2pm

Price: free

The White Horse is the ubiquitous symbol of the county but what exactly does it mean and for how long has it been used?

James Lloyd gained a Cambridge doctorate for research into local government in Anglo-Saxon England. He currently combines roles as an archivist at the Kent History and Library Centre and Librarian at Aylesford Priory.

28 October 2019

Paul Cullen: Kent Inn Names

Location: Kent History and Library Centre

Time: 1pm - 2pm

Price: free

Paul considers fresh research in this follow-up to an earlier talk on how Kent alehouses, inns and pubs got their names.

Paul Cullen is the English Place-Name Society’s editor for the Survey of Kent. His academic background is in historical linguistics, especially Old English, Old Scandinavian, and Old French. He is known to dozens as the folk troubadour, Paul Carbuncle.