We at Maidstone Museum are always happy to support the research and study of items from our collections, and our Collections Team will be able to offer the guidance and advice necessary to support your work. Our preferred contact method is by online enquiry form below, but we can also be contacted at:
Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery
St Faith’s Street
Useful resources and contacts for enquirers
|Resource:Kent History & Library Centre||Details:For local history and archive enquiries|
|Resource:Kent Archives and Local History Service||Details:Online catalogue with listing records held by Kent County Council|
|Resource:The National Archives||Details:For millions of family history and military records|
|Resource:Kent Family History Society||Details:The largest and oldest Family History Society in Kent|
|Resource:The Army Personnel Centre – Historical Disclosures Section (HD)||Details:Has access to army records dating back to the 1920s and can supply copies of documents to the next-of-kin of deceased former soldiers and officers|
|Resource:Kent Photo Archive||Details:Showing images of Kent, including thousands from Maidstone Museums’ collections|
|Resource:BBC Your Paintings||Details:Oil paintings in Maidstone Museums’ collections|
|Resource:Julius Brenchley Collection||Details:Maidstone’s New World Explorer, detailing the Native American Collections of the local Gentleman Explorer, housed at Maidstone Museum, a project in collaboration with Canterbury Christchurch University|
|Resource:Cornucopia||Details:Details of some of the collections held by Maidstone Museum|
|Resource:Art Fund||Details:Works purchased for the museum collection with assistance from the Art Fund|
|Resource:Kent Archaeological Society||Details:Housed in Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery|
|Resource:Portable Antiquities Scheme||Details:Details recorded finds nationally of metalwork over 300 years old, with thousands listed for Kent. A very useful source for identifying and recording field walking and metal detecting finds|
|Resource:Kent Historic Environment Record (formerly the Sites and Monuments Record)||Details:The HER is a database of archaeological sites, finds and buildings in Kent|
|Resource:Visit Maidstone||Details:For information on the history and heritage of the town and borough|
|Resource:Voluntary Action Maidstone||Details:For other volunteering opportunities in the area|
Advice for collection donors, identifications, and researchers
We are grateful to be offered material, but generally only accept objects that say something unique and specific about Maidstone borough, its environment and its people, and items that do not duplicate those already in our collections and which come with rich supporting information. If you would like to donate an object, please contact the Collections Manager to discuss the matter.
“Will it go on display?” is a frequent question from prospective donors. The majority of the museum’s collection is held in storage, but here it is accessible to researchers and available for future displays.
Maidstone Museum can only help with the identification of objects associated with Maidstone, or similar to items held in its collections. Please contact the Collections Team to make an appointment if you would like to bring an object for identification.
It may be possible for us to carry out an identification of your artefact from a good quality digital photograph. Please provide as much background information as possible about the object, such as where and when you acquired it, the material (if known), good quality digital image, etc. Due to pressure on the service, please allow four weeks for identifications to be processed.
Identification information provided is the opinion of the identifier only; we are unable to provide an authentication or valuation service.
All archaeological finds should be reported to your local Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) under the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Details for the Kent and Medway FLO are:
Finds Liaison Officer
Kent County Council
Maidstone Museum encourages the study and use of the collections by researchers. Please ensure that an appointment is arranged before your visit, as we reserve the right to temporarily close access to collections if staff is unavailable or there are practical reasons for restricting access. Collections or objects may not always be available for research for a variety of reasons and there are constraints on the number of items which can be viewed during an appointment.
To make an appointment, please contact the Collections Team. Download our full policy with access details.
Commercial reproduction requests should be submitted using the contact form on this page.
For more details on research enquiries from Maidstone Museum, submit an online enquiry form today