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The Library Volunteer Group works with the Society Librarian to care and collate the Society's library collections including books, journals, images, maps and archival material.

The Group meet most Thursday mornings in the library housed in the Maidstone Museum, Kent. Members can access the open shelves at any time the Museum is open while non-members can use the library by arrangement with the Librarian or Library Assistant. Please email the Librarian to arrange a suitable time. Please note that library staff are volunteers and cannot be available on all days but we do aim to be as helpful as possible. Please also note we are not a lending library.

Our material is mostly held on open shelves and locked cupboards within the library but some of the archival material is held in deposit at the Kent History and Library Centre. It can be accessed on their premises.


Group News

The Romano-British villa and Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Eccles

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 28 January 2022

On Thursday the 7th April there will be a mini conference to host the launch of a monograph summarising the excavations at Eccles (1962-76) and assessing the significance of the central and lower Medway valley during the 1st millennium AD.


Steve Cosh (the Roman villa) and Nick Stoodley (the Anglo-Saxon cemetery) present an overview and discussion of the more significant results to emerge from this work.


Smallhythe excavations: lecture TOMORROW

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 20 January 2022

Nathalie Cohen, National Trust Archaeologist, will talk about the exciting recent excavations at Smallhythe in Kent:


"Perhaps best known today as the former home of Victorian actress Ellen Terry and her daughter Edy Craig, during the medieval period, Smallhythe was a location for royal shipbuilding and, as we found in summer 2021, it was also a hive of activity some 2,000 years ago."


For more details on how to attend click here...

Ordnance Survey Town Maps

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 14 January 2022

The National Library of Scotland (a fabulous source for on-line mapping)

Library closure Christmas / New Year 2021-2022

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 14 December 2021

Please note that the Library will close from the 19th December 2021 until the 9th February 2022. Unfortunatley the Museum is closed during this period so we will be unable to access the Library.


If you have any enquiries please still send them along as some of our volunteers have good reference collections at home and may be able to help. We may also be able to access some material at our storeroom. 


Merry Christmas. Stay safe.


The KAS Library and Archives team.


Buckinghamshire Heritage Volunteers needed

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 8 September 2021

Our associated organisation in Buckinghamshire have alerted the KAS Library to a new project. There is currently a government led Local Heritage Listing initiative to record local sites, buildings, and monuments that are of community and heritage importance, but have either not met the strict statutory listing requirement, or have simply slipped through the net. Buckinghamshire Council has received funding for this project and we need to get people involved to nominate sites. We are also looking for volunteers to assist with the site surveys and data input.


Cheddar Man and the Genetic Prehistory of Britain: free lecture

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 19 April 2021

One of our associated groups has informed the library of an upcoming, free lecture, held by the Flag Fen Archaeology Park.  The talk will be by Dr Tom Booth of the Crick Institute in London. He specialises in analysing ancient DNA from human remains. 

Virtual Conference "Until death do us part"

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 12 April 2021

The Royal Holloway, University of London are holding a virtual conference which may be of interest. It is titled "Until Death Do Us Part: Historical Perspectives on Death and those Left Behind".

Bletchley Park: British Intelligence and the Second World War

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 24 March 2021

Our associates in the Bucks Archaeological Society have told me about an online talk that might be of interest. Here are some details and if you'd like to attend then please go to the registration link given below.

Secret Buckinghamshire Virtual talk series: No. 1
Bletchley Park: British Intelligence and the Second World War
Date: Wednesday 7 April 2021             Time: 1900hrs           Free Online Event

with speaker Professor John Ferris (Professor of History at the University of Calgary)

Digitisation of Lullingstone Park excavation material

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 10 February 2021

During Lockdown the Library has been busy adding previously digitised material to its collection. In 2019 we were given archival material from Graeme Horner's 1960's excavations at Lullingstone Park and this is now available to view via the library catalogue.


Manorial Documents Register

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 30 January 2021

The Manorial Documents Register (MDR) is the official index to English and Welsh manorial records and provides brief descriptions of documents and details of their locations in public and private hands. 


The National Archives at Kew now provide online access to this resource.


Manorial documents include court rolls, surveys, maps, terriers, documents and books of every description relating to the boundaries, franchises, wastes, customs or courts of a manor. Title deeds are not included in the MDR. 


Randall Manor, Shorne Woods, Kent

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 16 January 2021

For a look at the history of Randall Manor, once home to the de Cobhams of Randall go to this video: 

Free lecture on the Boughton Malherbe hoard: Jan 28th

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 12 January 2021

Thu 28th January 2021 from 18:30 to 20:00

Enjoy an illustrated, online talk by Sophie Adams about the massive Late Bronze Age hoard from Boughton Malherbe; an international story in a local setting.

Sophie will describe the history of this 64kg of metal objects; the present day work on cleaning and researching the objects; and future plans for the display and preservation of the hoard. 

The hoard will feature in a special exhibition at the museum in the future.

Kent Estate Plans being digitised

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 15 November 2020

The Library is currently involved in a project to digitise the estate plans held within the Gordon Ward archives. 


Barham Court estate plan


The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: online

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 2 November 2020

British History Online provides online access to "The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent", volumes 1 to 12, by Edward Hasted and originally published in 1797. These volumes include a general account of the history, topography and natural history of the ancient county. It also details the parishes of the two hundreds of Blackheath and Bromley and Beckenham, including several parishes which now form part of metropolitan London. These include Charlton, Deptford, Greenwich, Lewisham and Woolwich.


Hoo Peninsula Historic Landscape Project: online

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 2 November 2020

Reports from the "Hoo Peninsula Historic Landscape Project"  are currently available to download online, via the Historic England website.

Hoo Peninsula

The Hoo Peninsula, looking west from Grain. NMR26477/050 © Damian Grady/Historic England


Transciption: A Kentish incident relating to the Poor Law of 1824

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 2 November 2020

These two documents (Gordon Ward ref: CHA 006) relate to the extremes that parishes would go to, to ascertain where the charges for the support of a child should be laid under the Poor Law as it stood in 1824.  The child in question, William Winton, was born on board the hulk o

Archives in action: Boxley Abbey

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 22 September 2020

Research using KAS archival material can take many forms. Mr Nicholas Hill, of the Maidstone Area Archaeological Group, has kindly provided us with the Boxley Abbey report he put together using material in the Peter Tester archive.


H Bensted sketch of Boxley Abbey

New acquisitions

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 6 August 2020

New titles in the Library include:

"Meanderings in Sturry, Fordwich, Broad Oak, Hersden and Westbere" edited by Heather Stennett and K.H. McIntosh.



The Archaeology of Kent: past, present and future. No.3. (part 1 &2)


Library opening from August

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 16 July 2020

From August 2020 it will be possible for members to visit the Library again but due to Covid 19 there are restrictions in place.


We will not be able to have more than 3 people in the library at any one time, so flexibility on visiting dates may be necessary. Maidstone Museum's policy is to manage the numbers of people on site so to visit the library you will need to make an appointment first, either with the Museum or the Librarian.


Recharging British Archaeology survey

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 8 July 2020

Every organisation involved in public participation in archaeology has been affected in some way by the Coronavirus crisis. This is your chance to tell us how the CBA can help. 


The CBA has recently secured support from Historic England’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for a project to help rebuild public participation in archaeology as we recover from the effects of the pandemic.


New dates for the Festival of Archaeology

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 26 June 2020

The CBA Festival of Archaeology is back for its 29th year in 2020 offering opportunities to get involved in archaeology across the UK.


CBA poster


In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this year's Festival will take place in two parts with a series of digital events in July and on the ground events in October.


Bones found in Kent church likely to be of 7th-century saint

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 23 June 2020

Although this article is a couple of months old I only came across it yesterday and thought it may be of interest:


Bones discovered more than a century ago in a Kent church are almost certainly the remains of an early English saint who was the granddaughter of Ethelbert, the first English king to convert to Christianity, experts have concluded.

Archaeological Data Service

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 22 June 2020

Don't forget the ADS when researching archaeological topics. 


ADS image


The ADS is the leading accredited digital repository for heritage data generated by UK-based fieldwork and research. The ADS has a number of resources - monument and event records, archives, journals, books and reports. 


1989 day out in Kent

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 8 June 2020

I came across this video (slightly dated) on the weekend where the London and Surrey 'Earth Mysteries' groups have a day trip around some of the Kentish prehistoric sites. Particularly of interest to me was the visit to Chestnuts. (I believe that site is currently inaccessible, being on private land.) The video prompted me to take my own little day trip to to find the Chiding Stone..


Click here to view the Coldrum Field Trip video.


The Library as it once was

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 3 June 2020

Here are a couple of photos of the library room as it was before the fire in 1977.

Library before 1977


Archaeology and Climate Change Conference

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 5 May 2020

The Sussex Archaeological Society have announced details for the October 2020 conference on the theme of archaeology and climate change.

conference image


Kent LiDAR

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 30 April 2020

A new website had been launched which aims to make available imagery from various LiDAR datasets from across the county, including the recently obtained high resolution data covering over 190 square km along the Darent Valley and area of the Sevenoaks Commons, at the western end of the Kent Downs AONB.

Kent LiDAR icon

Free access to digital record from Kew

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 28 April 2020

The National Archives are making digital records available on their website free of charge for as long as our Kew site is closed to visitors.

Registered users will be able to order and download up to ten items at a time, to a maximum of 50 items over 30 days. The limits are there to try and help manage the demand for content and ensure the availability of our digital services for everyone.

To access the service and download for free, users will be required to:

Festival of Archaeology 2020

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 16 April 2020

In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) has decided to make some changes to the 2020 CBA Festival of Archaeology and it will now be taking place in two parts with a series of digital events in July and on the ground events in October.


Nautical Archaeology Society online talks

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 10 April 2020

To make the best out of the current challenging times, the Nautical Archaeology Society has started a new free online lunchtime talks series. They have lined up a range of speakers on topics related to underwater archaeology, maritime heritage, foreshore archaeology – anything wet and old and interesting! They hope this will provide an opportunity for students, volunteers and avocational archaeologists to practice their presentation skills in a less stressful environment.

Archaeology resources hub

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 10 April 2020

The Council for British Archaeology are bringing together free resources to help anyone engaged in archaeology, whether you are an organisation looking for practical help, or are looking for content to keep you or your family entertained at home.

CBA logo

Volunteers needed for a little light data entry

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 30 March 2020

The UK has rainfall records dating back 200 years or so, but the vast majority of these are in handwritten form and can't easily be used to analyse past periods of flooding and drought. The Rainfall Rescue Project is seeking volunteers to transfer all the data into online spreadsheets. You're not required to rummage through old bound volumes as the Met Office has already scanned the necessary documents - all 65,000 sheets.


Medway Archives Centre Newsletter

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 11 March 2020


A selection of news from the Medway Archives.

A time to celebrate Medway's rich heritage

Library acquisitions

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 2 February 2020

New titles that have arrived include:

  • Tithe Schedules in DVD format
  • "The excavation of a medieval rural settlement at the Pepper Hill Lane electricity substation, Northfleet, Kent" by Alan Hardy
  • "Structure and agency in small-scale production: an historical archaeology of the clay tobacco pipemakers of Kent" by Brian Boyden
  • "Making the invisible visible: new survey and investigations of the 1A hillforts of Bigbury and Oldbury in Kent" by Andrew Bates