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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 70  1956  page 38
The Origin and First Hundred Years of the Society

By Frank W. Jessup, Honorary General Secretary   continued

prehistory the medievalists will grumble, and vice versa; reinterpretation of existing knowledge is needed as well as the recording of fresh discoveries; for some members the volume is primarily a work of reference, for some it is simply a book to be read—it would be tedious to continue this list of the conflicting pressures that bear upon the editors, even omitting the financial anxieties which they share with the Honorary Treasurer. These last anxieties have been much relieved during the last four or five years by a number of generous donations, but it can scarcely be expected that these will continue on the same scale. A review of the seventy volumes of Archaeologia Cantiana makes clear how successful the editors have been, on the whole, in walking their tight-rope. There is little that one could wish away; there are many papers which have distinctly advanced the bounds of archaeological and historical knowledge; there are still more which retain their capacity to interest and please the general reader. From the shipwreck of time many precious vessels with their varied cargoes have been rescued and piloted into the capacious haven of Archaeologia Cantiana. Most of them still repay inspection.

   The problem of publishing amassments of record material in Archaeologia Cantiana has already been touched upon. It was the existence of this problem which led to the 

formation, in 1913, of the Records Branch whose "first object - . . shall be to supplement the work of the Society by printing for distribution to subscribers to the Branch, under the general title of Kent Records, documents or other materials relating to church, parochial, manorial, and family history in the County." Canon G. M. Livett, Honorary Editor of Archaeologia Cantiana, L. M. Biden, Local Secretary for Bromley, and H. W. Knocker, were all active in the formation of the Records Branch. From that time until the present moment it has had the good fortune to have, as its Honorary General Editor, Dr. Irene J. Churchill.
   The first volume of Kent Records, The Parish Registers and Records in the Diocese of Rochester, by the Rev. W. E. Buckland was in fact published a few months before the Branch was formally constituted. Volume II, Miss Churchill’s A Handbook to Kent Records, still a valuable guide, appeared in 1914, as did also the Rev. C. Eveleigh Woodruff’s Sede Vacante Wills. "It was decided to issue, if possible, two volumes yearly to the subscribers," wrote Miss Churchill in 1914—and that on an annual subscription of ten shillings! The war, and vastly increased costs of printing, soon made that ambition appear hopeless.
   The Records Branch now has sixteen volumes to its credit. Some of them are mainly works of reference, such as H. R. Plomer’s Index of Wills and Administrations at Canterbury, Leland Duncan’s Index

Page 38

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