Unilever Art, Archives and Records Management

The custodians of Unilever’s history and heritage

Lifebuoy boy 1900

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

The team are responsible for the collection and management of Unilever’s archives which span several centuries – in fact, our oldest document dates from 1292.

The collections contain original documents, printed sources, images and films, for example, we hold the first advert that was ever aired on television for S. R Gibbs toothpaste.

There are minute books reporting on company board meetings, financial records, a wealth of advertising and examples of packaging, as well as architectural plans and maps of current and former Unilever sites.

Well-known brands, such as Colman’s, Wall’s, Lipton, Persil, Pears Soap, Lux, PG Tips and Marmite, all feature.

To discover more about our rich history, browse our interactive timeline.

Access our collections

For the safety and wellbeing of visitors and staff in response to the ongoing pandemic, we’ve taken the decision to close the Unilever Art, Archive and Records Management searchroom and library in Port Sunlight until further notice.

You can find out more about what Unilever is doing to support Unilever Employees and our Global Communities during the COVID-19 pandemic here.

We are currently not able to say when we will re-open however we continue to monitor the situation closely. Any updates to our services will be posted on this page.

Enquiries

Staff of Unilever Art, Archives and Records Management remain working mostly from home but still welcome your enquiries. Please be aware that as we are unable to access the collections as normal there may be a delay in our response.

Online Catalogue

Our online catalogue remains fully accessible.

Researchers

We are not accepting any Research Visit Requests at this time. Researchers may continue to submit their enquiries to us via email, but are advised that access to our collections is currently limited.

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Other ways to connect

Volunteer at Unilever Art, Archives and Records Management

UARM Volunteer week 2017

If you are interested in finding out about a career in Archives and Records Management, or if you’d like to learn new skills and gain work experience, we have an active volunteer programme that welcomes applications from people from all backgrounds and skill levels.

Placements are available for one day per week over 8-10 weeks or on a full-time basis over 1-2 weeks depending on availability.

Recent volunteers have been involved with cataloguing a large collection of photographs used in Unilever publications over the years. Full induction, training and supervision is provided.

If you are interested in volunteering, please email archives@unilever.com.

Donate Unilever artefacts

Colmans Mustard Double Superfine

We welcome donations of artefacts or records from members of the public. If you have an item or collection you wish to donate, please email archives@unilever.com with details of the item you hold.

William Lever Speeches

First Lord Leverhulme

The Lever-half of the Unilever name has its roots with one of the founding fathers, William Hesketh Lever. He was one of the great pioneers of modern consumerism. He understood the need for innovation, diversification, and adding value through marketing. Many of the values he stood for still have resonance for us as a business today.

We are proud that we can allow William Lever’s voice to be heard once more by conserving and digitising 39 of his published speeches.

To access his speeches, please visit the online archives.

Designated status

Arts Council England recognition

The high standard of the service has been recognised by The National Archives (TNA), and the collections 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.

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