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Information about some of our most significant collections

United Africa Company


The United Africa Company, formed in 1929, was a subsidiary of Unilever originally devoted to the West African trade, initially dealing in agricultural produce, chiefly palm oil, groundnuts and cocoa, but later diversifying into industry and local manufacture in the newly developing Commonwealth countries. Its formation was the last stage in a long process of amalgamation, and the collection includes the surviving records of approximately three hundred subsidiaries dating from 1540 to 1987, including the Niger Company, the African and Eastern Trading Company, and G B Ollivant and Company. In addition to minutes, accounts, correspondence and other standard company records, the collection includes marketing and advertising material, maps, photographs, antiquarian volumes, artwork and artefacts.
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Unilever Special Committee

The Special Committee, was set up by Lever Brothers in 1921. It became the centralised committee in September 1930 and decided Unilever policy and oversaw other management groups. This collection contains the minutes and supporting documents for meetings of the Special Committee from 1929 to 1974 along with records relating to planning, conferences, correspondence and personnel dating up to 1988.
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Lever Brothers Limited Photographs Albums


Our collection of Lever Brothers Limited photograph albums. Subjects include Port Sunlight Village, Brombrough Dock, Port Sunlight Works and visits. Some of the "Visits" albums appear to be a record of tours undertaken by Lord Leverhulme. Some albums relate to the business and others to the Lever family (some of the tours may have been personal but these albums are largely thought to relate to business travel).
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Colman???s Directors and Senior Managers Correspondence

The Colman???s collection (CON) contains the records of J&J Colman,, which later became Colman Foods, part of Reckitt and Colman plc. This was acquired by Unilever in 1995 and renamed Colman's of Norwich, and the brand name now continues as part of the Unilever UK portfolio. This section comprises the business correspondence of J&J Colman including early business correspondence (mainly mid to late C19th) and letter books of the senior managers. The early business correspondence includes letters between the Norwich factories at Carrow and Stoke Holy Cross and the London head office at Canon Street. The early correspondence is arranged in bundles by location, subject and name of correspondent(s). Subjects include the formation and expansion of the business, product development, advertising, export and general business matters
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