Costumed doppelgangers of literary luminaries entertained the streets of Maidstone as the Kent History and Library Centre – the impressive new home of the county’s records, across 14 kilometres of space stretching back to 699 AD – opened to the public on Shakespeare’s birthday.
© Kent County Council
Visitors grabbed goodie bags as they made their first steps into the archive. A library of 40,000 books, community spaces, shelves full of first reads for children and a café are among the developments, replacing the Centre for Kentish Studies, Councy Central (Springfield), St Faith’s Libraries and Maidstone Library.
A wealth of documents, photos, maps and records have been moved to storage facilities offering conditions carefully tweaked to ensure their preservation. Kent thriller writer Elizabeth Haynes also gave a reading on the evening.
“The building is purpose built,” said Mike Hill, of Kent County Council, who said the opening was “very exciting indeed”.
“It is bright and welcoming and will have plenty on offer for people to see and do.”
- Visit the Centre online for event listings and more news.