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Visiting the Archives & Library

Visiting the Archives & Library



How to find us

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The Archives and Library of Canterbury Cathedral welcome all researchers with interests in our collections.

Access to the collections of the Archives and Library is provided according to our Access Policy.

The Archives and Library reading room is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10.15am until 4pm, with a closure over lunchtime. Spaces are limited; please email to make a booking, giving at least five working days’ notice. The reading room will close after Thursday 16th December 2021 and reopen on Wednesday 12th January 2022.

For the Cathedral’s Privacy Notice, please click here.

Library Tour

Enjoy a visit to the Cathedral Library, which houses books from the early years of printing to the present day. Visit the splendid Library building, built in the 17th century and adapted in the 19th century, learn about the history of the Cathedral’s Library collections, and see some examples of fine printed books.

14.00, Wednesday 6 October 2021. Cost £8 per person; bookable on the day or in advance by email to

Family History

For more information about the branch, and useful information about family history research in the Canterbury area, see

Copying services

We offer a range of reprographic services: please see our price list.
We also offer self-service photography in our reading room: please see the permit application form for further information.

Permission to publish

Those wishing to publish images from our collections should complete our permission to publish form.


The Archives will respond to routine enquiries about its collections. We aim to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days. For commissioning genealogical research and other detailed research on our collections, please see our Independent Researchers list.

Information for depositors

The Cathedral Archives collects according to the Cathedral’s Collection Development policy. Material can be accepted as a gift, loan (deposit) or bequest. See here for our gift and loan agreements. Please contact us to arrange the delivery of new material.


Useful links

Lambeth Palace Library where the papers of the Archbishops of Canterbury are held. See also for useful research guides.

Kent History and Library Centre for the County Council’s archive centre.

Medway Archives Centre

The National Archives

Special Collections and Archives at the University of Kent where the papers of Dean Hewlett Johnson, and other archive collections are held.

Findmypast – a leading family history website, which includes parish registers from the Cathedral Archives

Canterbury Probate Records (1396-1858) Database

Kent Archaeological Society – Monumental inscriptions for Kent parishes

The Kent Family History Society, Canterbury Branch

Canterbury Historical and Archaeological Society

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