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Archive Collections at HHC: Businesses

Guide to material held at Hull History Centre arranged by research theme, record creator and document type, with copies of published source guides.

“The United Metropolitan Improved Hot Muffin and Crumpet Baking and Punctual Delivery Company”

Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby 


Research Themes Supported

Hull History Centre holds the archival collections of a number of local businesses. Such collections can aid research into many areas including:

  • Shipping Companies
  • Shipbuilders
  • Engineering and Manufacturing Firms
  • Solicitors and Land Agents
  • Organ builders
  • Confectioners
  • Architects
  • Paint Manufacturers
  • Oil and Cake Millers
  • Timber Merchants

There are also records to support research into small businesses such as restaurants, grocers, jewellers, fish product merchants, butchers, and undertakers.

Typical Record Formats

Business records commonly include minutes, accounts, administrative correspondence, annual reports, articles of association, trust deeds, publications, publicity material and photographs.

Key collections

The following collections have significant research potential in the area of business records:

  • Priestman Brothers, Industrial Machinery Manufacturers (C DBSP)
  • Forster and Andrews, Organ Builders and Repairers (L DBFA)
  • Horsley Smith & Company, Timber Merchants (U DHS)
  • John Good & Sons, Shipping Company (U DGO)

Further collections

The following PDF contains a list of HHC collections that may be useful to researchers interested in businesses.

Additional supporting material

The following material may also be useful when researching this area:

  • Local Authority records covering licensing, apprenticeships, regulation of commercial activities.
  • Landed families and estates records, which often contain information about the business activities of the landed elites.
  • Annual trade directories, which can be useful in tracing the location of particular businesses.