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Guide to the Archives Centre

Find a range of great resources to help you with research, to find the correct service for your project.

Published on: 31 December 2020

Last updated: 7 December 2021

Our collection has been recognised as a collection of national significance.

Liberty Ltd.

In 1875, Arthur Lasenby Liberty began trading in ornaments, fabrics and more. As his shop expanded, it become one of the most fashionable shops in London, famed for its imported silks, costume department and 'Eastern Bazaar' of Oriental furniture.

In 1924, the store moved to the iconic Tudor building on Great Marlborough Street which has since become a London landmark.

Liberty was at the forefront of fashion for oriental design, and highly influential in the Art Nouveau movement.

The Liberty archives include:

  • administrative business records
  • retail catalogues including original fabric swatches
  • jewellery design sketch books
  • personal papers and correspondence of Arthur Lasenby Liberty

Browse this archive in more detail by searching our online catalogue.

Jaeger Co. Ltd.

The Jaeger archives reveal the fascinating history of one of fashion’s favourite brands which derived its philosophy from naturalist Dr Gustav Jaeger, who advocated the use of natural, breathable wools in clothing.

Highlights include:

  • early clothing catalogues, including swatches of material
  • archives of the early administrative history of Jaeger
  • guard books of Jaeger publicity
  • original clothing and gift catalogues

Browse this archive in more detail by searching our online catalogue.

Copies of items can't be taken without prior permission from Jaeger Co. Ltd. For more information, contact the Archives Centre.

Waring and Gillow Ltd.

Gillows of Lancaster is one of the great names in the history of furniture-making, supplying high quality furniture to the richest families in the country.

In the 20th century, Gillows merged with Waring of Liverpool and together they forged an international reputation for fitting out luxury yachts and liners.

The Gillow archives contain invaluable information for furniture historians including:

  • estimate sketchbooks (1784 to 1905) with detailed illustrations and descriptions of custom-made furniture
  • pattern book (1775 to 1800) with colour illustrations
  • 20th century scrapbooks and photograph albums with designs for ship, country house and palace interiors

The Gillow archive can be explored on microfilm in our Searchroom. A card catalogue of making numbers is available, assisting with research into specific pieces.

Susan E Stuart's 2 volume work Gillows of Lancaster and London, 1730 to 1840 and Lindsay Boynton's Gillow Furniture Designs, 1760 to 1800 are available in the Archives Searchroom.

Browse this archive in more detail by searching our online catalogue.


We can undertake searches for individual Gillow pieces if you are able to provide an image of the item and indicate an approximate date if possible. We will send you a copy of the sketch and specification if we find it.

We are unable to give valuations; an antique dealer or auction house should be able to help with this.

The cost of this service is £41.20 an hour with a maximum of three hours work.