Deposit or donate archives

The Kent archive service collects and preserves archives, books and other published sources which are of historical significance to Kent.

We accept a wide range of items ranging from records created by the County Council to those belonging to private individuals.

We’re recognised as a place of deposit for public records, and provide secure and environmentally controlled storage in a modern purpose built repository.  Kent archive service is visited by thousands of readers annually, as well as attracting enquiries from across the globe.

If you have records that provide unique and interesting information about Kent, would like to make them available for research and to see them preserved for future generations to enjoy please contact us archives@kent.gov.uk.

Gift or deposit?

There are two main types of agreement by which documents can be transferred to us.  Archive documents or collections can either be deposited as a long-term loan or donated as a gift.

Deposit agreement

Depositing records on long-term loan means you still own the records, but the Kent archive service is the custodian, and cares for them on your behalf.   Records that are loans can be borrowed back if necessary (for example for an exhibition or anniversary celebration).  As well as reserving the right to withdraw the records temporarily the depositor may also choose to permanently withdraw them at a future date. In the case of permanent withdrawal, the depositor may be liable to reimburse us for expenses incurred for storage, cataloguing and conservation during their term of deposit.

Gift agreement

Records that are deposited as gifts will legally belong to Kent County Council, and be managed by the Kent archive service.

Please note that copyright ownership is a separate issue, and not always the same as ownership of a physical document.

Sensitive or confidential information?

You may be concerned that some of the information in the records could be considered sensitive or confidential. We provide public access to records according to current legislation, including the Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information Act, which protect information relating to living individuals.

We can agree to specific closure periods being placed on particular records if considered appropriate.