Friday, July 7, 2017

Archival Resource: Boots Opens Digital Archives

The well-known British firm Boots (now Walgreens Boots Alliance) has launched a digital archives that contains around 15,000 entries and includes photographs, letters, advertisements, building plans, and industry magazines. The majority of the archives' holdings relate to the UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer and chart its development from its foundations in the mid-19th century. According to the archives website:
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.
The re-cataloguing process is on-going, with new items to be added regularly; the current digital entries account for approximately a fifth of the holdings. Business historian Peter Scott of Reading University said that the collection constitutes "one of the most significant and multi-faceted British corporate archives."