Our collections are extraordinarily rich and varied, and include manuscripts, photographs, maps, plans and seals.
We collect according to our collecting policy.
For full details of our collections, see our online catalogue.
Please note that the historic records of the Archbishops of Canterbury are held at Lambeth Palace Library.
The records of the Dean and Chapter date back to the late 8th century; there are some 20 Anglo-Saxon charters which date from before the Norman Conquest. Taken together, these are the Cathedral’s oldest possessions, which predate any of the buildings seen standing today.
The Dean and Chapter archive is particularly strong for the medieval period. It tells the story of the Cathedral, its buildings, its estates and its community right up to the present day.
The Cathedral Archives is the record office for the City of Canterbury. It holds the records of Canterbury City Council and its predecessor bodies, which date from the 12th century right up to the present day.These records made up a rich resource for the study of all areas covered by the current boundaries of Canterbury District, including the coastal towns of Whitstable and Herne Bay.
The Cathedral Archives is home to two very significant collections of artefacts. The first of these is the silk vestments in which Archbishop Hubert Walter was buried in 1205. The second is the collection of objects acquired by Dr John Bargrave, a canon of Canterbury Cathedral, during his travels around Europe between 1645 and 1660. The Bargrave collection is still kept in its original cabinets.For more information, and a virtual tour of Bargrave’s cabinets of curiosity and his travels, see the Bargrave webpages.
Please see our guides on researching your family history and house history.