Access

Who can use the Walgreens Boots Archive Service?

The Archive is open to anyone.

How do I make an appointment to view an item found on the online catalogue?

Email bootsarchives@wba.com quoting the reference number of the item(s) you are interested in consulting. The reading room is located in the East Midlands of the UK and is open to researchers Mondays to Fridays, from 9am-4pm, with the exception of Bank Holidays. Wheelchair access is provided to our reading room and special toilet facilities are also available.

Where are the archives held?

The majority of the material held in the Walgreens Boots Alliance Archive is located on the Boots UK site in Nottingham in the UK. The site can be accessed easily by car and rail, and internationally by plane via East Midlands Airport.

There are regular buses (Navy 49) from outside Nottingham train station, which run every 20 minutes onto the Boots UK site.

The archives themselves are based in building D122 which is located in the middle of car park B.

Does the online catalogue contain all the material in your collections?

At the moment there are just over 15,000 records in the catalogue representing around a fifth of the collection. All archive entries listed are fully catalogued, however information relating to the authority file entries are still being added to. Whilst the collection is undergoing re-cataloguing, which is due to be completed in November 2020, annual updates will be made in May each year.

Once I've found something in the catalogue can I get access to an image of it online?

We have around 1800 catalogued images from our photographic collections available online, however there are many more uncatalogued images in the collection. If you are unable to find a digital image linked to a catalogue entry, please contact the archives directly with your request.

What do I need to do if I want to visit the Walgreens Boots Alliance Archives and look at original material in your collections?

Access is by appointment only. Researchers are asked to contact the archive to ensure the material they wish to consult is available. You must provide proof of identity and complete a registration form, which will be sent to you prior to your first visit.

When are records made available to the public?

All material in the Walgreens Boots Alliance Archive and Museum Collection is subject to a 30 year closure period. Any material containing named individuals and personal information relating to them, such as prescription or salary books, are subject to a 100 year closure period. Any material that may compromise the activities or are deemed commercially sensitive to Walgreens Boots Alliance and/or any of Walgreens Boots Alliance subsidiary companies will be withheld from public access. Any material which is already in the public domain will be open to full public access. Some records may be marked 'Part-open' as they contain sections which are deemed sensitive, but can be removed to enable the rest of the document to be made available for research.

Can I order items before making a visit?

Yes, please contact the archive team at bootsarchives@wba.com with your request, with the full reference number and a brief description for each item.

The record I want to see is marked as 'closed' - what does this mean?

A small proportion of the collection is closed to the public, either for reasons of commercial sensitivity / confidentiality, or in compliance with UK Data Protection legislation.

Searching


Why can't I see images of all the documents in the catalogue?

The catalogue contains written descriptions of documents in our collections and is not designed to provide online access to digital images of documents. You may be able to find a small number of images along with their catalogue records but most will simply have a description to enable you to decide if you wish to come in and consult the material or enquire further about it.

I am looking for a specific person and cannot find their name

Numerous names are contained in the records held by the Archive, in particular those of former members of staff, but these are not generally catalogued to the level of detail for individuals to appear.

What is the name search?

The 'Name search' allows you to see biographical information about key people associated with the company. It also links the relevant records concerning that person. Please note that only entries relating to individuals who are deceased, are shown.

Why do my search results appear to show that there are gaps in a series?

For reasons of confidentiality and sensitivity not all of the files in the Archive are currently open to researchers.

I am getting too many results. How can I narrow my search?

Please click on How to search the catalogue for more information, or on Browsing the archive for tips on exploring the Archive catalogue.

What are the 'Subject' and 'Term' search fields for?

One way of narrowing your search is to use the 'Subject' and 'Term' fields. These allow you to select from a list of subject themes using the 'Subject' option, or for product types, using the 'Term' option. These keyword terms have mainly been applied to our series level records and will help to flag up sections of documents within the collection containing information relevant to the theme or product type selected. Users can then narrow searches down even further by searching on the 'Reference Number' for the series, followed by an '*' and then adding a further search term in one of the other search fields.

How can I find images?

To restrict your search to records which include digital images, go to Advanced Search and select 'Yes' from the 'Includes Digital Image' picklist. The majority of store photographs are contained within the series WBA/BT/21/46/1, which is arranged alphabetically by location - many of these files have a selection of digital images attached and are being updated on a regular basis.

Can I browse the catalogue?

Yes - after searching, click on the 'RefNo' field in the full record view of any record to open the Catalogue Browser - you can then navigate through the catalogue hierarchy, expanding records by clicking on the '+' symbol - click on any record to view its full catalogue description.

Usage


Can I use the images from your collections for my study or research?

You may use the images that you find here for personal study or research, but conditions apply and UK copyright law applies to the vast majority of our records.

Can I get a copy of material in the collections?

Yes we can normally provide a copy if it can be obtained without causing damage to the original. We also allow researchers who visit the Archive to use cameras, on the understanding that they adhere to our conditions of access policy.

I have found records in the catalogue that I am interested in. Can you undertake research for me?

Unfortunately we do not have the resources to undertake extensive research, although we can usually offer to conduct a basic search on your behalf (up to 45 minutes) and in some cases (e.g. straightforward queries and family history enquiries where material is partially closed for data protection reasons) it may be easier for us to respond by email rather than arranging a visit for researchers to view the material.

I've got something that might interest you. How do I get in touch?

Please email the archive team at Walgreens Boots Alliance bootsarchives@wba.com
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