The Cathedral Archives and Library hold a fantastic and varied range of historic collections, dating from the late 8th century up to the modern day. You’ll need to book an appointment to see material: the Reading Room is open for researchers on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

You have an architectural marvel on your doorstep! If you want to look at official plans and records for it, then the Cathedral Archives and Library is the place to come.

Some highlights for Architecture students are:

  • Architectural plans for the Cathedral (1748-1990) – These plans are for work on the Cathedral church itself, including its furnishings and fittings.
  • Architectural plans for buildings in the Cathedral precincts (1802-1985) – This series includes plans for work on buildings in the precincts, including buildings attached to the Cathedral church. For example, the library buildings have been considered as parts of the precincts for the purposes of this catalogue.
  • Photographs of the Cathedral buildings (early 19th to mid-20th century) – These can provide very interesting visual evidence as to the changes made to buildings over the years, either by planned work or by destruction during WWII.
  • Architectural plans for certain buildings in Canterbury (1850-1995) – Most of these properties lie along the boundaries of the Precincts, in Burgate (formerly called Burgate Street), Sun Street and Palace Street. These give a fascinating view of the rebuilding works after WWII bombing.
  • Printed architectural histories (19th-21st century) – The printed books in the Cathedral Library collections include a good number of academic publications bringing together much of the research into the history of Canterbury Cathedral’s architecture, from its medieval roots up to today, including archaeological reports.

You can explore holdings using the Cathedral Archives catalogue, and the Cathedral Library’s holdings through LibrarySearch.

To find out more, visit the website.

If you’re unsure about something then please do drop them an email! They love welcoming students, and know that the first time visiting an archive can seem scary – if you have any questions (no matter how small!) about visiting or using the collections they’d be very pleased to help. The email for all enquiries and bookings is: