As a student at Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, you have access to outstanding resources both at the University and at Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library, the Canterbury Archaeological Trust and Rochester Cathedral Archives.

University of Kent resources

Kent’s Templeman Library holds an impressive stock of scholarly editions, monographs and journals, and the Special Collections section includes a significant number of facsimile manuscripts. Our catalogue LibrarySearch is simple to use, making it easy for you to access our materials. 

Items relevant to our students include:

  • the Pre-1700s collection – contains religious texts, plays and contemporary literature: including first editions of works by Beaumont and Fletcher, Ben Jonson and a second edition of Holinshed’s Chronicles
  • the Classified Sequence – has many Victorian editions of medieval and early modern texts, allowing researchers to see how works were edited and published to 19th-century audiences
  • the Local History collection – contains guidebooks relating to the Kent and Canterbury locales and includes a small number of 16th-century tracts
  • the John Crow collection – explores the works of Shakespeare and other early modern dramatists 
  • the Maddison Collection – charts the development of science disciplines (particularly Chemistry and Physics) from the 15th century to the present day.
Old book, volume from Holinshed Chronicles

Holinshed's Chronicles, part of the Templeman Library’s Special Collections

MEMS subject guide

The MEMS subject guide lists relevant resources and is a good gateway to our digital library collections. Among our many e-resources are: 

Enhancing your studies

Staff working in the Special Collections and Archives in the University’s Templeman Library take great pleasure in sharing their knowledge and expertise with you.

Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library

Our close links with the Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library give you the opportunity to engage with their exceptionally rich resources. The archive holds materials related not just to the Cathedral but for all parishes in eastern Kent and for the Diocese of Canterbury. These include:  

  • manuscripts, maps and other records dating back to the late 8th century
  • about 30,000 books and pamphlets printed before 1900
  • printed materials dating back to the mid-15th century
  • materials related to early modern church history including bibles, prayer books and chronicles.

Palaeography sessions are held in the Library and you can also attend workshops where you engage directly with the materials there.

Rochester Cathedral Archives

You are able to use the Cathedral’s extraordinary collection of medieval and early modern manuscript materials, an invaluable research resource.

In 2015-16 students and staff from the Centre worked in partnership with Rochester Cathedral Library on an exciting project to catalogue a previously hidden collection spanning the 12th to the 19th centuries. MEMS volunteers gained experience in historical book analysis, honing their skills in examining bindings and marginalia, while learning first-hand about provenances, conservation and restoration. Thanks to the combined efforts of MEMS and Rochester Cathedral Library, this culturally significant collection was made available online for the first time.

MEMS students also regularly contribute to the Cathedral Library’s online exhibition ‘Leafing Through the Library’, in which digital images from the Library are accompanied by articles examining the content, context and significance of a wide variety of books. Articles researched and written by the students provide easier public access to wonderful hidden gems.

Canterbury Archaeological Trust

Canterbury Archaeological Trust is an internationally recognised organisation of quality. We have been working closely with the Trust for over ten years and its director, Dr Paul Bennett, teaches on the Medieval and Early Modern Studies programme. Paul's teaching sessions take the form of walking tours of Canterbury, where he guides you through the buried and standing archaeology of the city.