The Archive was established in the mid-1990s, by Boots UK, following decades of on-going accumulation by the business, now part of our Retail Pharmacy International Division. The current Walgreens Boots Alliance collection comprises of approximately 5,000 boxes of listed archives and artefacts, the majority of which are unique and relate to Boots UK.

The material charts the development of Boots UK into large scale manufacturing, product development, research and healthcare and beauty retailing. Information relating to product development, which includes employee training, formulations, packaging and merchandising records, is particularly strong. The collection also includes a large number of store and factory photographs and building plans.

Since the creation of Walgreens Boots Alliance in December 2014, work has been underway to extend the archive in order to reflect the history of the wider Company and we continue to welcome new additions from across the enterprise.

In addition to the material relating to the history of Boots UK, other significant holdings also include the business records of Walgreens; Dollond and Aitchison; Optrex Ltd; Timothy Whites and Taylors Ltd; Unichem and E Moss Ltd.

In 2015 the Walgreens Boots Alliance Archive, led by the Boots UK archive team, received funding from Wellcome to re-catalogue the entire collection. The current catalogue contains details of all the records which have been re-catalogued and are open to researchers. It contains individual content descriptions for the archives as well as any digitised images connected to it.

Newly catalogued records will be added to the catalogue each year in May, over the next four years.

To avoid having to represent every organisational change within the business units, a functional classification scheme has been adopted in which records are grouped by a general function, such as legal or personnel rather than a named department.

Place, Name and Brand authority files have been used to link together records in the collection, as well as providing researchers with a brief overview of their history. If you are interested in a particular store or brand, an authority entry search, using the Advanced Search option, would be the easiest place to start. Please note that these are still in the development stage and additional information will be added over time.

Please see the Glossary for our cataloguing terminology and preferred terms and conventions.

If you can't find the material you are searching for, we may still be able to help so please contact us.
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