The Kays Archive: Catalogues and Business Archives

Scope and Content

  • Catalogues
  • Ledgers
  • Archival Folders
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Furniture
  • Photographs
  • Company Info
  • Artefacts

Administrative / Biographical History

The Kays catalogues in the Collection represent the English way of life in consumable goods from 1893 to 2006. The catalogues provide a window into over 100 years of social history and constitute a unique resource for study within the wider context of the century.

Kays was a major employer in Worcester, from the time W. Kilbourne Kay formed the company in 1890 until its closure in 2007. As a national operation, Kays pioneered the concept of mail order shopping from its beginnings as a watch and clock making business in Worcester in 1794.

Access Information

Other Finding Aids

Listing of items in process. Search items also listed on University of Worcester Research Collections website

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

All items can be handled.

Archivist's Note

Collection level description by Sarah Stretton, Graduate Trainee, University of Worcester.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies/photographs can be made according to copyright law and depending on the condition of the documents. A copyright agreement and an agreement covering reproduction must be signed.

Appraisal Information

Appraised in accordance with GB3284 collection policy and depostior agreement.

Custodial History

Collection deposited with University of Worcester Research Collections 2009. Listed on University of Worcester Research Collections:

Items retained in categories assigned by depositor.


No further accruals are expected.