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Unilever Archives launches online catalogue

Based at Unilevers premises in Port Sunlight, Unilever Archives preserve and provide access to the companys rich historical records. Unilever was formed in 1930 by the merger of Lever Brothers Ltd and the Dutch-based Margarine Union. Among the collections there is material for businesses such as the United Africa Company, Colmans, Walls and Lipton, and brands such as Persil, Pears, Lux, PG Tips and Marmite.

Now, for the first time, external researchers will have access to over 71,000 online descriptions of the records in the collection. Work continues to expand the available descriptions. To begin exploring Unilevers archives, please click on the link below.

Posted on: Wednesday, 18th March 2015
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Barclays history goes online

Barclays Group Archives have launched a new resource, making thousands of items from the archives freely available online. These include branch photographs, advertising material, annual reports and a selection of other weird and wonderful items amassed over the years. The website also includes a wealth of information on Barclays history around the world, and will be of interest to serious scholars, casual browsers and Barclays employees alike. 

Based in Manchester, the Barclays archive has been accessible to visitors, by appointment, for the last 25 years. This initiative brings the collection to a worldwide audience for the first time, opening up a treasure trove of history.

The Barclays Group Archive website can be seen at

Posted on: Friday, 6th March 2015
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Conserving canal records

The National Archives is richly endowed with transport records, especially for railways and canals. However, like many of the other records in their care, these sometimes require conservation. A recent blog on The National Archives website offers a behind the scenes look at how work was carried out on minute books of the Regents Canal & Dock Co. For fuller details and photographs take a look at the blog.

Posted on: Thursday, 26th February 2015
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Fifty years of KFC in the UK

Although the first British diners to enjoy Kentucky Fried Chicken were in Preston in 1965, the business had its origins in Depression-era America 35 years earlier.

Harlan Sanders began selling fried chicken from a roadside restaurant in Kentucky and from these humble beginnings emerged a fast food giant. Two things helped to power the development of the brand, one being the canny re-invention of Sanders himself as Colonel Sanders. The second was the mystique surrounding the secret recipes that gave KFC its competitive edge. KFC plans to celebrate its first fifty year in the UK throughout 2015, for fuller details follow this link.

Posted on: Wednesday, 25th February 2015
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Human Stories and the East India Company

Human Stories and the East India Company is a unique project by the Brick Lane Circle. The project will launch on Thursday 19th March 2015 at Lab 1A Idea Store, Whitechapel, London, 6.30-8.30pm. The project will recruit 12 volunteer researchers to explore the records and objects of the East India Company and write short fictional stories based on facts. This London based company had a major impact on Asian and British lives for more than two centuries. Take a look at the programme.

Posted on: Tuesday, 24th February 2015
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