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Library Volunteer Group

Library Volunteer Group

The Librarian advises the Council on the management of the Society's library collections which include books, journals, images, maps and archival material. Topics focus on the archaeology and local history of Kent. 

Group News

Oxford Dictionary of Family Names during lockdown

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 21 May 2020

For a short period of time the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names has made its database available for free.

Oxford Reference icon

"This huge, new dictionary is the ultimate reference work on family names of the UK, covering English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Cornish, and immigrant surnames. It includes every surname that currently has more than 100 bearers, and those that had more than 20 bearers in the 1881 census."


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:

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.


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



New books in the Library

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 27 November 2019

1. Medieval adaption, settlement and economy of a coastal wetland: the evidence from around Lydd, Romney Marsh, Kent. 2008. Luke Barber and Greg Priestley-Bell. 

2. TRAC 2002: Proceedings of the Twelfth Annual Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference: Canterbury 2002. 2003. Gillian Carr (ed.)

New acquisitions

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 1 August 2019

Two new titles have come into the library:

  • "Culture and society at Lullingstone Roman villa" by Caroline K. Mackenzie and
  • "William Lambarde's reading, revision and reception: the life cycles of the Perambulation of Kent" by Frederic Clark et. al. 

These will out on display for a few weeks, for easy access, before being shelved.

Thames Gateway reports

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 31 July 2019

Reports on the Greater Thames Estuary can be accessed online for free. 

The Greater Thames Estuary Historic Environment Research Framework

Authors: Essex County Council, Historic Environment Branch

Digital Public Library of America

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 14 July 2019

The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. On January 6, 2016, The New York Public Library enhanced access to all public domain items in Digital Collections so that everyone has the freedom to enjoy and reuse these materials in almost limitless ways.

KM Group digital archive

Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 9 June 2019

The KM Group digital archive is available online. It has been expanded to include the newspapers from both the First and Second World Wars.

The archive provides a fascinating insight into Kent’s leading role in the Great War, World War II (especially the Battle of Britain) and will prove an invaluable tool for anyone interested in the period.


Submitted by Ruiha Smalley on 8 June 2019

One of the latest acquisitions for the library includes "Workhouses of London and the South East" by Peter Higginbotham.