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Library and Reading Room

Browse the Trust’s collection of over 20,000 books and manuscripts

The Dockyard Library and Archive houses the Trust’s collection of over 20,000 books and manuscripts that focuses on ships, shipbuilding, naval architecture and history.

The Trust has an extensive photographic collection that ranges from mid-19th century until closure in 1984. There are over 10,000 photographs and images showing dockyard workers, trades, shipbuilding and repair and the wider dockyard site.

We have maps of the Historic Dockyard site, drawings of the buildings along with a number of plans of ships built here.

The Archive Reading room is open to researchers by appointment Mondays to Thursdays 10.30am – 3.30pm.

Please note that library and archive material is reference only and cannot be removed or lent out. Copies may be made of some material by arrangement.

We hold limited records of those who worked in the Dockyard of served in the Chatham Division of the Royal Navy. If you are looking for information on family members who are connected with the Dockyard, the National Archives at Kew may be able to help you

Research enquiries

For research enquiries, or to arrange an appointment to visit the Library please contact the Archives and Collections Care Officer via or fill in the contact form below.

Please give us as much information as possible regarding what you would like to research.  Please ensure that you provide contact details.  We will contact you back to arrange a suitable time to allow you access to our collections.

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