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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 66 - 1953  pages 65
                           
Kent Archives Office — 1953 continued

   Two outstanding features of the period 1936 to 1952 were the completion of the Records Building just before the war, and the receipt of the Canterbury and Rochester Probate Records in 1946. The former gave Kent a repository second to none in the entire country, and the latter placed in that repository a series of documents of outstanding interest and importance to this county, country and to all who trace their ancestry from Kent.
   The achievement of twenty years’ labour was an office comprising some of the finest accommodation available in England, containing well over a million pieces of every describable kind and dating from the charter of King Wihtred, 6991 to the semi-current records of the County Council. Much of what was done could not have been accomplished without the keen interest of the Clerk of the Peace and of the County Council, Mr. W. L. Platts, the sympathetic support of Major M. Teichman Derville both as President of the Archaeologica1 Society and as a County Councillor, and others, not least the many owners of documents who have been so public-spirited as to give, or to deposit on loan, their papers.
   Naturally in many respects the collection housed at the County Hall is far from representative of the whole administrative county. So far very few parochial archives have been deposited for safe custody, a state which it is  hoped may be improved as liaison between the civil and

ecclesiastical authorities in this respect becomes closer. On the other hand no student of Kentish history, purely local or on a wider basis, can afford to overlook the contents of the Archives Office as a vital source of information.
   It is difficult to speak of the future with any degree of exactitude, but some indication of possible lines of development may be useful. The setting up of a County Archives Committee indicates the desire of the County Council to see the office make its maximum contribution to the cultural and educational life of the community, and without ever releasing the primary duty towards modern administrative records, it may well be that the emphasis, at least for a period, will shift to these wider aspects. Internally this presupposes improved facilities for searchers, more catalogues and indexes, and ultimately the publication of a Guide to the office. It indicates a gradually increasing tempo of activity aimed at bringing together as representative as possible a collection of Kentish archives. It suggests the periodic holding of exhibitions illustrative of particular types of record or of some facet of local or national history.
 In such work the interest of the general public is essential and an appeal is therefore addressed to members of the Archaeologica1 Society to assist the County Archives Committee by urging owners to place
   1 See Arch. Cant., LX (1947), pp. 1-14.

Page 65  

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