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Our history & archives

Unilever is a business founded on a sense of purpose, and our unique heritage still shapes the way we do business today.

Unilever Art, Archives and Record Management

Collage of Unilever photos throughout history

Located in Port Sunlight, the historic home of Unilever in the UK, the Unilever Art, Archives and Records Management team look after one of the most important collections of business records in the world.

The team are responsible for the collection and management of Unilever’s archives which span several centuries – in fact, our oldest document dates from 1292.

The collections contain original documents, printed sources, images and films, for example, we hold the first advert that was ever aired on television for S. R Gibbs toothpaste.

There are minute books reporting on company board meetings, financial records, a wealth of advertising and examples of packaging, as well as architectural plans and maps of current and former Unilever sites.

Well-known brands, such as Colman’s, Wall’s, Lipton, Persil, Pears Soap, Lux, PG Tips and Marmite, all feature.

Access our collections

The Unilever Art, Archive and Records Management search room and library in Port Sunlight is closed until further notice as we deal with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We are processing our COVID backlog whilst a new Discovery Centre for visitors is being created. We look forward to welcoming you to our new Discovery Centre.

We are currently not able to say when we will re-open. Any updates to our services will be posted on this page.

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Designated Outstanding Collection Accredited Archive Service

Designated status

The high standard of the service has been recognised by The National Archives (TNA), and the collections have been recognised as being of international significance through the award of ‘Designated Status’ by the Arts Council England for both the Unilever and United Africa Company collections.