Transporting archive boxes from Warwick to Gaydon. Left to right Charlotte Gallant (BMIHT Deputy Archivist), Helen Ford (Modern Records Centre Chief Archivist, and Mollie Horne, BMIHT Archive Assistant)
There are many reasons why documentation which belongs together sometimes gets split between different Archives, and one example of this is the business records of the British Leyland organisation and its subsidiary companies.
The Archive of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust already holds an extensive Collection of business records relating to the history and development of Britain's motor manufacturers throughout the 20th century, donated directly from the companies involved. The Modern Records Centre at Warwick University also had a significant body of similar material among its holdings, so the two Archives decided to work together to re-unite the collections.
On a rainy day in August, we took a van over to Warwick and, with the indispensable help of the Modern Records Centre team, spent a morning loading over a hundred heavy boxes to bring back to Gaydon. Once they had arrived the BMIHT team set to work organising them on the shelves and sorting through the catalogues that had been created over the years, so the material could be integrated with our existing Business Records Collection.
A significant set of minute books, financial records and internal correspondence relating to key players such as Austin, Morris, MG, Rover and Standard-Triumph, has been transferred. The aim of both organisations is to make this material readily available to researchers and historians at one location in order to promote the study of the industry.
All of this material, old and new, will be available to view by appointment in the Archive Reading Room at the British Motor Museum from the beginning of September. The catalogues can be found on discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/
For further information please contact:
Modern Records Centre (MRC): firstname.lastname@example.org
British Motor Industry Heritage Trust (BMIHT): email@example.com
Or to book a reading room appointment click here.