About the catalogue

Located in Port Sunlight, the historic home of Unilever in the UK, the Unilever Archives and Records Management team look after archives that are among the most important collections of business records in the world.

The high standard of the archive has been recognised by The National Archives (TNA), and the archives have been recognised as being of international significance through the award of 'Designated Status' by the Arts Council England for both the Unilever and United Africa Company collections.

The team is responsible for the archives of Unilever's head office departments and its operating companies in the UK.

The principal collections reflect the organisation and development of the company, and include Directors' Conferences, Special Committee, Overseas Committee, regional managements and category groups such as Foods, Detergents and Personal Products.

All the major operating companies are represented in the archives, including their subsidiaries and predecessors. These include Van den Berghs and Jurgens, Colman's of Norwich, Brooke Bond, Lever Brothers, Elida Faberge, A&F Pears, Alberto Culver, Bestfoods and Lipton.

The archives of numerous older companies no longer operating are also held in the archives. Of particular interest are the archives of the United Africa Company, Mac Fisheries and Christopher Thomas.

Collections include a wide range of records from minute books, annual reports and accounts, legal files, financial records, Research & Development and property files to advertising, packaging, promotional material and artwork. There is some personnel material - but very little of use to family historians except company magazines.

Please note access is only permitted to open and catalogued records. Not all of our collections are catalogued so if you do not find what you are looking for here, please contact us. Furthermore, many of our records are not open for external consultation as most records will have a closure period of a set number of years after their creation. If they are still within the closure period we cannot grant access. Please contact us and we will advise as to whether access can be granted to particular records.

If you are a researcher thinking about coming to the Archives for a research project, please visit: Unilever Archives Online for information about access and availability. Visits to the Archive are by appointment only between 10am-4pm on weekdays and are dependent on staff being available on site to assist.