Kent Record Office

Kent Record Office(Kent History and Library Centre) replaces the Centre for Kentish Studies, East Kent Archives, County Central and Maidstone (St Faiths Street) libraries.  They house approximately 14 kilometres of documents relating to Kent dating back to 699 AD and makes these publicly accessible.

These resources include census returns, parish registers, manorial records, electoral registers and quarter sessions records.

The resources cover a wide range of subjects, so whether you are tracing your family history, researching the history of a house, conducting research for a school, colelge or university assignment or studying the history of your local area, you will find them of use.

The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always on hand to help should you have any questions or require assistance.

Information about Kent Record Office


Kent History and Library Centre
James Whatman Way
ME14 1LQ

Telephone Number:

03000 413131



For information about their holdings, please visit their Home Page.  Their collections page also has details of documents held by the Archive.  Collections include:

  • Letters and diaries
  • Official documents
  • Parish registers
  • Records of estate and landed families
  • Records of local administration and businesses
  • Tithes and deeds and transcripts - Bishops and Archdeacons
  • Wills

They also have local history collections, covering historic Kent, including Medway and the parishes which are now part of Greater London, which incorporate:

  • Audio-visual material
  • Biographies
  • Books and pamphlets relating to individual towns and parishes
  • County and town directories
  • County histories
  • Guide books
  • Historic maps
  • Listed buildings lists
  • Local newspapers
  • Periodicals
  • Photographs, prints, postcards and other images

They also have an on-line catalogue which contains details of collections held by the Office referring to the history of places and people in the area.  By using their online catalogue, you can order document(s) in advance of your visit, but you must provide them with the 'finding number of the material' and the date and time you wish to consult the document(s).

Their opening hours can be found by going to their library details page.  

Buses 101, 150 and 155 stop near the building.  

Parking is available for blue badge holders in the front of the building.  The car park situated on James Whatman Way has 27 spaces.  If this car park is full, there are other car parks at Maidstone East railway station and Fremlin Walk's.

You are permitted to bring laptops and digital cameras, but they stipulate the camera flash must be turned off when taking photographs of documents.  A camera licence must be purchased when you arrive.  Not all documents can be copied because of data protection laws or because the document is fragile and easily damaged.

It is necessary to book a desk in their searchroom if you wish to look at original documents or some printed material.  Microfilm readers must be booked in advance if you want to consult records using this medium.

You are allowed to bring food, but it must not be taken into the searchroom.

The building is fully accessible, being wheelchair friendly.  A lift is also provided.  A high resolution enlarger for reading original documents is also provided should you wish to use it.  They also have magnifying glasses and accessible computers. 

If you cannot visit in person, the Archive offers a Research Service.

Kent Record Office is a member of the CARN (County Archive Research Network).

For further information regarding Record Offices in Kent, please visit my pages regarding Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Medway Archives Centre.

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