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The Historical Society of Kent County Library collection includes thousands of items pertinent to regional history including reference works, manuscript collections, documents, ledgers, maps, genealogies, cemetery records, photographs, and oral histories.
Library Hours: The Library is open only by appointment; Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Research Services and Fees
We have limited research services during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please email email@example.com to see if we can help. There is no charge for a “look up” of information taking less than half an hour. If your question cannot be answered within that time frame, our librarian will give you an estimate of research time, which will be charged to you at $20.00/hour, payable in advance on our website using PayPal. Photocopies are available for $1.00 per page. Our librarian is only available a few hours each week so please understand that we may not be able to respond as timely as you might desire.
Search Our Collection
The Historical Society is undertaking the cataloging of our research collection with PastPerfect Software, purchased with a grant from The Hedgelawn Foundation of Kent County, and the digitization of our document collection through a grant from the Kudner Foundation. Please be patient as we undertake these projects to provide users with information about our library, archival, and photograph collections. Eventually, our object collection also will be included. This database is a work-in-progress and will be updated periodically. Please contact our library if you are looking for information not online.
Books in the Library collection are in the process of being cataloged using a unique system. The library contains both published and unpublished books and booklets, with a focus on local and regional history, Maryland and Kent County genealogical resources, and family histories.
The map collection contains original maps, as well as copies of historic maps primarily of Kent County and its towns and Maryland. Select images of our maps can be found on the “Maps” section of this website.
The Society holds collections of documents, as well as miscellaneous documents, grouped by categories and subcategories. The miscellaneous document categories are: Architecture and Engineering; Business and Industry; Culture; Education; Ethnic and Cultural Groups; Family/Genealogical History; Government; Legal Records; Maps and Atlases; Maryland; Military and War; Natural History; Oral History; Organizations; and Religion. Miscellaneous documents have been categorized as of January 2010; Schedule a visit to the Library to view these documents.
The Society holds collections of photographs, as well as miscellaneous photographs grouped by categories and subcategories. The main categories are: Architecture and Engineering; Business and Industry; Culture; Education; Ethnic and Cultural Groups; Family/Genealogical History; Government; Legal Records; Maps and Atlases; Maryland; Military and War; Natural History; Oral History; Organizations; and Religion. Distinct collections of photographs will be cataloged together, then identified and inventoried individually when possible. This is a time-consuming process, undertaken solely by volunteers. (The Usilton/Kent County News Collection contains over 5,000 images, for example.) Eventually, other images may be available online. Currently, only the Society’s African American collection is available online, in cooperation with the Smithsonian’s Heartland Project.
The Society maintains files for all historic structures in the Kent County Historic Sites Inventory originally conducted by the Maryland Historic Trust. Additional sites and structures will continue to be added to this “K-file” listing. The files contain the inventory form, photographs, and additional documentation collected by the Society.
The Society has a small collection of oral histories, with a goal of expanding these holdings in the future.
The vertical files are collections of newspaper clippings, articles and copies of documents organized into a system of categories and subcategories. The main categories are: Architecture and Engineering; Business and Industry; Culture; Education; Ethnic and Cultural Groups; Family/Genealogical History; Government; Legal Records; Maps and Atlases; Maryland; Military and War; Natural History; Oral History; Organizations; and Religion.
These maps come from the Lake, Griffing & Stevenson atlas of Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties, 1877. The thumbnails take you to larger maps which you can examine. Our library also holds many other maps from various periods, available for research here by appointment.
Copies of many of our maps may also be purchased at Finishing Touch, finishingtouchshop.com in Chestertown, for which we receive a commission on the sale.
Still Pond 1876
Rock Hall II
Rock Hall 1876
Howell Point & Betterton
Eastern Neck Island
Betterton, Lloyds and Turners Creek
Upper Sassafras River
Crumpton is the site of Callister's Ferry across the Chester River. This was the ferry crossing upriver from Chestertown. Crumpton is locally notorious for its auction sales every Wednesday.
Kent Island 1795
Kent Island 1877
These interesting Delmarva regional maps are in our files. The Chesapeake & Delaware Canal maps are from a stock prospectus ca. 1828 while the Wilmington map is a copy of a 1736 map which dates from 1845.
Eastern Shore and the Chesapeake Bay, 1795
C&D Canal 1828 - Route
C&D Canal 1828 - Profile
Wilmington, Delaware 1736