Confederation of British Industry

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

CBI Council and Committee circulars, 1965-[ongoing]; CBI Committee minutes, 1965-[ongoing]; papers of CBI Presidents, CBI Directors General and CBI Secretaries, c. 1950s-[ongoing] (mainly post-1965); directorate subject files, c. 1950s-[ongoing] (mainly post-1965); annual reports, 1965-[ongoing] ; publications, 1965- [ongoing]; CBI News and predecessor titles, 1966-[ongoing]; regional records, 1948-97 (mainly post-1965).

Cardiff firms are mentioned in a Company Affairs Directorate, Research and Technology Committee survey of competitiveness, 1979-80 (MSS.200/C/3/COM/19/66).

Administrative / Biographical History

The CBI was established in 1965 by the amalgamation of the Federation of British Industries (FBI), the British Employers' Confederation (BEC) and the National Association of British Manufacturers. This created a national representative body of employers equivalent to the Trades Union Congress, incorporating not only manufacturing, transport and construction but also commerce and the nationalised industries. The FBI, the largest predecessor body, formed the basis of the new organisation, although as part of the integration process chief posts were shared out between the CBI's predecessors. Since its formation the CBI has maintained its position as the major non-political employers' body in a changing political scene. CBI organisation reflects closely that of the FBI. The Council forms the ruling body where CBI policy is ultimately decided, although since 1977 policy issues have also been debated at a national conference. The Council elects a President to serve for two years and is assisted in policy making by the various committees. Approved policies are enacted by the directorates which are headed by one or more directors who in turn are responsible to the Director General. Committees and directorates have frequently been created, dissolved or moved within the organisation. Arrangement of the archive has therefore had to be flexible to accommodate the many changes, details of which are given in the list for each individual directorate. In numerous cases the earliest CBI files commenced as FBI or BEC files and so contain pre-1965 material.

Reference: Wyn Grant and David Marsh, The Confederation of British Industry. ( London, 1977).


The Modern Records Centre uses a classification scheme. For further details of the scheme, see It is compatible with ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description (2000).

Conditions Governing Access

The CBI archive is subject to a general 10-year closure rule, with a 30-year closure rule on the papers of Presidents, Directors General and Deputy Directors. Researchers must agree to submit their work to the CBI before publication.

Acquisition Information

The first deposit from the CBI was received in March 1979 and regular deposits have been received ever since.

Other Finding Aids

The archive was catalogued to file level in 1996. A copy of this catalogue is available in paper format in the Centre's searchroom, at the National Register of Archives in London, and in Chadwyck-Healey's National Inventory of Documentary Sources. Also available in paper format in the Centre's searchroom are a copy of this collection-level, an interim box list for MSS.200/C/April2000 and an interim box list for MSS.200/C/August2000.

An authority record exists for the Confederation of British Industry (GB 152 AAR1389).

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.

Appraisal Information

This collection has been weeded for duplicates.


Further deposits are expected.

Related Material

The Centre holds the records of the Confederation of British Industry's predecessors : the British Employers' Confederation (MSS.200/B), the Federation of British Industries (MSS.200/F); and the National Association of British Manufacturers (MSS.200/N). It also holds the records of a number of related organisations. These include: the Association of British Aluminium and Gold Bronze Powder (Flake) Manufacturers (MSS.200/APFM), the British Dextrine Manufacturers' Association (MSS.200/BDMA), the British Industrial Measuring and Control Apparatus Manufacturers' Association (MSS.200/BIMCAM), the British Towel Manufacturers' Association (MSS.200/BTMA), the Committee of British Employers Operating Abroad (MSS.200/BEOA), the Dollar Exports Council (MSS.200/DEC), the India (Pakistan &) Burma Association (MSS.200/IPBA), the Joint Committee on India (MSS.200/JCI), the Lancashire and District Trade Effluent Committee (MSS.200/LDTE), the National Industrial Organisation (MSS.200/NIO), the NEDC Liaison Group (MSS.200/NEDC), the Trade Board (Employers') Consultative Council (MSS.200/TB); and the Traders' Co-ordinating Committee on Transport (MSS.200/TCC).


Modern Records Centre Sources Booklet 7: The Confederation of British Industry and Predecessor Archives, Coventry 1997.

Geographical Names