The Aviva archive includes records for over 750 companies, highlighting changes in business strategy and practice, as well as social and economic attitudes over a period of more than 300 years; they reflect the wide geographical spread of their business over time and the broad range of products offered by constituent companies.
They hold statutory records, minute books, annual reports, returns to the board of trade, registers of directors and secretaries, share registers, registers of transfer, financial records, journals, ledgers, cash books, balance papers, valuation books, policies, promotional material, photographs, staff records, and more.
The records cover all of their major constituents: General Accident, Commercial Union, Norwich Union, the Yorkshire, Northern, North British & Mercantile, Scottish Union and National, as well as hundreds of smaller companies from all over the world.
Of particular interest to family historians are staff records and early customer records, some of which give information on dates of birth and addresses of 19th century policy holders.
For local historians the records show the development of regional economies and include information on local dignitaries and the local customer base; the records of provincial and Scottish based companies are likely to be of particular interest.
The collection also provides a record of the changing world in which the companies operated, reflecting every aspect of social, political, and economic history. The accident branch of insurance in particular was constantly evolving to offer the cover customers required and reflects technological developments, such as the introduction of television and nuclear power.
Visits to the archive are by pre-arranged appointment only. To book an appointment, please contact their Group Archivist.
The Aviva archive is situated in Surrey House in the centre of Norwich. Surrey House was built as the headquarters for Norwich Union, opening in 1905, and is still a working office today.
To find out more about this fascinating archive visit https://heritage.aviva.com/