Over 400 years in the making – what will you discover?
Unique, irreplaceable and priceless – our archives communicate the strength and depth of Barclays’ rich and varied history.
Barclays Group Archives collects, preserves and provides access to records created by Barclays Bank, its predecessors and its constituents, dating from 1567 to the present day.
The records are rooted in the local communities in which the many strands of Barclays’ history begin. The correspondence and accounts of the founding family businesses bear witness to not just the evolution of their banks, but to the growth of local, national and international economies.
Explore the philanthropic activities of the Gurneys in East Anglia; the battles of the Backhouses in the North East to support industrial growth through the development of the railways; and the endeavours of northern businessmen in Manchester and Liverpool to create banks strong enough to support their burgeoning industries. Trace the development of British home ownership in the records of the Woolwich, one of the few publicly available building society archives in the UK.
From the 20th century, records chart the growth of the modern business. Delve in to leather-bound minute books, files, photographs, diaries, reports, advertisements and plans to uncover key decisions, the reasons behind them, and their impact. Investigate how a British bank weathered hundreds of years of history to become a worldwide brand. Discover a story of innovation through technology, customer service, design, training and communications, and meet the men and women who lived through it.
The archives cover 1½ miles of shelving and are held in secure, environmentally-controlled strongrooms. They are listed on a searchable database, available to access onsite. A small specialist reference library of Barclays and external publications on the history of financial services is also available.
Barclays Group Archives welcomes enquiries via email, telephone or post. Visits to the archives are by appointment only from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
The archives are located to the south of Manchester city centre and are accessible by car, tram or bus. Please ask for more detailed travel information. There are no local amenities within walking distance of the archives, so visitors are advised to bring a packed lunch.
Discover the story of Barclays: so much more than the story of a bank