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Family historians with connections to one of the UK's most famous companies will be able to find out more about their ancestors following the re-opening of a major archive
Family historians with connections to one of the UK's most famous companies will be able to find out more about their ancestors following the re-opening of a major archive.
Marks in Time, which tells the story of high street retailer Marks & Spencers (M&S), is now available to explore at a new site at the University of Leeds. The specially designed building features more than 70,00 items including documents, photos, oral history recordings and copies of employee magazines, with selected highlights on display in a dedicated section of the centre. Visitors can also explore the entire archive catalogue for the first time by making appointments to use the reading room, which is open from Mondays to Thursdays.
Founded by Michael Marks and Tom Spencer in September 1884, M&S grew from a 'penny bazaar' in Kirkgate Market in Leeds. By 1900, the business had expanded to include 36 such stalls and 12 high street stores, and a century later it was making a net profit of more than £250 million.
"We're proud to have opened the doors of this impressive new building, which is the result of a successful and prosperous partnership between M&S and the University of Leeds," says Marks and Spencers chairman Robert Swannell. "The hard work and commitment that has gone into making this possible means that the history of M&S as an iconic British retailer is accessible for us all to enjoy, and will continue to evovlve back in the city where it all began on Michael Marks' Penny Bazaar stall for many more years to come."