Research Projects

The Walgreens Boots Alliance Archive has had several research collaboration projects running with a number of different institutions and on a range of topics. The following areas of study have either recently or are currently taking place:

Dr Anna Greenwood & Dr Hilary Ingram at the University of Nottingham (UK) History Department, through a Wellcome Seed Award, investigated the international history of Boots UK.

Dr Richard Hornsey in the University of Nottingham (UK) Department of History co-curated an exhibition on the history of the No7 brand with the Boots UK Archive team in 2016, and published this research in Women’s History Review in 2018. He continues to work on Boots’ interwar stores as part of his project on chain-store shopping.

Professor Victoria Tischler Head of the Dementia Care Centre at the University of West London (UK), has a Wellcome Research Bursary to extend initial research into the therapeutic benefits of a Boots UK multi-sensory memory box. Initial research was also conducted with Professor Tom Dening and Dr Charlotte Beer from the Institute of Mental Health at the University of Nottingham (UK) along with Sarah Griffiths. An article outlining this project was published in Dementia under the title Mementos from Boots multisensory boxes - Qualitative evaluation of an intervention for people with dementia. Federica d'Andrea is undertaking doctoral research on a project titled 'Using olfactory stimulation: multi-sensory interventions in care homes for people with dementia' at the University of West London, supervised by Victoria and Tom Dening of the University of Nottingham..

Dr Jamie Stark, Associate Professor of Medical Humanities at the University of Leeds (UK), has been supported by a major British Arts and Humanities Research Council AHRC Leadership Fellowship to build on a Wellcome Seed Award, which investigated the concept and practices of regeneration in medicine. His project, Endless Possibilities of Rejuvenation:Defying Ageing, Defining Youth in Britain, 1919-1948 involves partnerships with the Walgreens Boots Alliance Archive, the Thackray Medical Museum and a National Trust property - Overbeck's, to examine how our attitudes towards ageing and rejuvenation changed in the first half of the twentieth century. The resulting monograph – The Cult of Youth – will be published by Cambridge University Press in early 2020. Dr Stark has also received funding through the Science Museums and Archives Consortium for a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership which will use material from the Boots UK collection alongside records from the Science Museum to explore Constructing and Consuming Imagined Futures: Advertising Healthcare to Publics and Professionals in Twentieth-century Britain. He is also Co-investigator on a UKRI-funded project focused on improving hand-washing practices amongst primary school children, drawing on historic images of germs.

Professor Gareth Shaw from the University of Exeter Business chool and Professor Mairi Maclean of the University of Bath Business School are completing an ESRC project on the Rowntree History of Management in Inter-War Britain. This covers leading companies and major employers such as Boot that used progressive management techniques and made strong contributions to the management movement promoted by Rowntree. The project has drawn on material from the Walgreens Boots Alliance Archive and developed an interactive database that will be available in the next few months to a wider research community as well as to the general public.

Dr Thibaut Deviese (University of Oxford), Dr Szu Wong (Keele University) and Dr Jane Draycott (University of Glasgow) received an AHRC 'Science in Culture' Early Career Development Award for their project "From natural resources to packaging, an interdisciplinary study of ancient skincare products over time". More info about the project can be found here:

PhD Student Research

Dr Gary Kerridge, who received a British Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Collaborative Award, was awarded his PhD at Warwick Business School (UK) in 2016. His thesis included a longitudinal exploration of the organizational identity of Boots UK through their corporate values, enactment of social responsibility and employee engagement. Reconceptualising Organizational Identity: A Critical Realist and Historical Case Study of Walgreens Boots Alliance (1892-2002).

Katey Logan through an ESRC Doctoral Training Collaborative Award, is studying at Warwick Business School (UK). Her thesis, due to be completed in 2019, investigates how the professional identities of community pharmacists exist, change and adapt over time, with focus on interplay between clinical and commercial practice. Katey presented initial research findings at the European Group for Organisational Studies Colloquium in Tallinn, and at the Society for Social History of Medicine Conference in Liverpool. She also presented at an event at Warwick University on “Cultural Histories of National Health”, and has a forthcoming chapter in The Oxford Handbook of Identities in Organisations with Professor Graeme Currie (Pro-Dean Research, Warwick Business School)

Mark Anderson, an AHRC Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership student, studying at the University of Nottingham (UK), has completed the first of our partnership placement projects. Mark's PhD thesis focusses on the social and cultural history of men's hair in the 1960s and 70s. During his placement at Boots UK, Mark researched and identified useful material within the archive collection to create stimulating resources for community outreach events relating to men's haircare routines and customs.
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