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 reading room for the Archives and Library is equipped with computers for public access and WIFI is available. Visitors can use microfilm and microfiche viewing equipment and there is a self-service reader-printer for making copies from microfilms. The reading room is open by appointment by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01227 865330. Bookings can be made for a reading desk, a computer, or a microfilm/fiche reader.
The opening hours are as follows:
- Tuesday – Thursday: 09.15 hrs to 16.45 hrs
- Mondays and Fridays: open for pre-booked group visits
- Saturdays – 1st Saturday of every month: 09.15 – 12.45 hrs
For Saturday openings all documents and books must be ordered in advance.
Lunchtime closure may occasionally be necessary and the Archives reading room will be closed on the following days:
- Monday 19th August 2019 – Friday 30th August 2019
- Monday 4th November 2019 – Friday 8th November 2019
- Wednesday 27th November 2019 (open 09:15-13:00 only, closed 13:00-16:45)
- Monday 23rd December 2019 – Monday 6th January 2020
- Monday 5th April 2020 – Friday 17th April 2020
- Monday 2nd November 2020 – Friday 6th November 2020
- Monday 21st December 2020 – Monday 4th January 2021
Depending on staff availability, group visits may be arranged through the Visits Office. Preferred days are Monday and Fridays when the Archives and Library are closed to the public. Visits will be tailored to the interests of the group.
Researchers are required to register for a reader’s ticket which we can issue when you visit. Please bring with you some form of photo ID and a document which proves your address.
Examples of acceptable documents:
- Driving Licence
- International Student Identity Card
- Older Person’s Bus Pass
Proof of address
- Driving Licence
- Utility Bill
- Council Tax Bill
- Bank Statement
For the Cathedral’s Privacy Notice, please click here.
Family History Advice
During our Saturday opening (first Saturday of the month, 9.15 to 12.45), a member of the Canterbury Branch of the Kent Family History Society will be on hand to provide advice on family history research. S/he will be happy to discuss getting started on family history and new avenues of research. Sessions run 09:15-10:30 and 10:45-12:00 – please contact us to reserve a place.
For more information about the branch, and useful information about family history research in the Canterbury area, see https://www.kfhs.org.uk/canterbury.
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.
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.
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
Kent Archaeological Society – Monumental inscriptions for Kent parishes