The M&S Collection

About the Archive

The M&S Company Archive enables Marks & Spencer to celebrate and utilise its rich heritage for the good of the business, its customers and the wider community. As a vital business asset, the Archive actively preserves, develops and facilitates access to its unique collection for commercial innovation and inspiration and delivers a dynamic programme of public engagement, using the collection to support and inspire the community.

The collection contains over 71,000 items, dating from 1884 to the present day and comprises not only written, photographic and digital records of the Company’s development, but also artefacts which represent key aspects of the Company’s activities.

The M&S Company Archive represents one of Britain’s most important corporate archival collections, owing to the long history of Marks & Spencer as a key retailer on the British high street and the extensive nature of its rich holdings.

The collection includes:

  • Documents, reports, letters, speeches, employee magazines, annual reports and advertising leaflets
  • Photographs, films and oral history recordings
  • Clothing, food packaging and merchandise from the days of the Penny Bazaar to the present
More details on our collection and what it holds:

Research and resources

To access the collection for some in-depth research, please identify the materials you are interested in by using our Online Catalogue and Collection Guide. Our Collection Guide introduces the archive collection and may help you identify specific areas of interest. 

We offer a Reading Room service (for visiting in person to consult archive material) and also a Digital Reading Room service (providing digital access to material from the collection, wherever possible).

Please note we'll be closed from Thursday 8th December for refurbishment. Our new-look exhibition opens in February 2023.


How it Works

Contact us about the items you are interested in, including the reference numbers.

To visit in person, tell us when you would like to visit. Our Reading Room is open by appointment Tuesday to Thursday, 10am - 12pm and 1pm – 4pm, subject to availability.

If you would prefer to have remote access to digitised material, please let us know.

If it is not possible for us to scan all the material you are interested in, we will ask you to identify priority material.

We will provide scans as jpg or pdf files. We can’t guarantee the dpi of these scans but we will ensure they are legible.

In cases where we are able to scan items upon request, we’ll aim to have your scans ready within 2 weeks but will let you know if it will be longer.

Some materials may not be suitable for scanning, we will suggest alternatives where possible.

We can only provide copies of open access materials.

Access is provided for personal research purposes only. Any request to reproduce material from the archive must be made in writing.

You may also be interested in this Bibliography of literature on M&S.

The Marks & Spencer Company Archive Film

Contact the archivists

M&S Company Archive
Michael Marks Building
University of Leeds

You can contact the archive team on or (020) 87182800.

Make a donation

A 1920s tea set recently donated to the collection

We are always delighted to receive your donations

How to donate
Have you got any M&S treasures tucked away? We welcome donations that help to enhance the M&S archive collection. See our Collection Development Policy for more information. Please contact us to talk about a possible donation.
Collection Development Policy

Our Catalogue

Discover what's in the archive
Our online catalogue lets you find descriptions and images of thousands of items in our collection. Use the catalogue choose to what you want to see, or just browse highlights in our Themes section.

For more help using the catalogue see our Collection Guide on the left.

Further resources

About the Company Marks & Spencer - The Company