Records of Macgibbon & Kee Ltd, publishers, London, England

Scope and Content

Minutes 1949-1981.

Administrative / Biographical History

MacGibbon & Kee Ltd was incorporated as a limited liability company in 1949  with its registered office at 2 Guilford Place, London, England, and a share capital of å£6,000. The first directors of the company were James MacGibbon, Robert Kee, Janetta Kee and Margaret MacGibbon. The company aimed to publish up to 3 titles a year with packing, invoicing, distribution, representation and trade promotion out-sourced to other companies. However, by 1952, the company was producing 12 titles a year but, due to low financial turnover it was decided to publish several quick-selling titles in order to increase profits but, by 1953, the company was running at a loss. Titles included fiction and non-fiction, cookery books, photograph and travel books, history and science texts and medical books.

By 1960, the company shared a number of directors with other London publishing companies, such as Arco Publications Ltd , and Rupert Hart-Davis Ltd . In 1961  , the company acquired the publishing firm of Howard Samuel and had close links with other London publishers such as Arco Publications Ltd who they acquired in 1962  , and Staples Press Ltd .

MacGibbon & Kee Ltd were acquired by the Granada Group Ltd , media group, London, in 1968  , and became a subsidiary of Granada's subsidiary publishing firm, Granada Publishing Ltd . In 1972  Granada restructured its publishing interests with the business of MacGibbon & Kee Ltd and Rupert Hart-Davis Ltd being transferred to Hart-Davis, MacGibbon Ltd . MacGibbon & Kee Ltd continued to trade as a separate company, being renamed Granada Publishing Services Ltd in 1978  . The company appears to have been dissolved in c1983  when Granada sold its publishing interests to the Scottish publishers William Collins, Sons & Co Ltd , Glasgow.


The material is arranged into series as shown in the scope and content. Within series items are generally arranged chronologically.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposit : William Collins, Sons & Co Ltd via BACS : 1987

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

This collection forms part of the William Collins, Sons & Co Ltd finding aid (UGD 243) consisting of the records of that company and its related/subsidiary companies

Manual file level list available at the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)3040) and London (NRA31886)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures

Custodial History

Held by William Collins, Sons & Co Ltd, Glasgow


None expected

Related Material

GB 0248 UGD 243/1 Records of William Collins, Sons & Co Ltd

GB 0248 UGD 243/8 Records of Mayflower Books Ltd

GB 0248 UGD 243/13 Records of Rupert Hart-Davis Ltd

GB 0248 UGD 243/14 Records of MacGibbon & Kee Ltd

GB 0248 UGD 243/18 Records of Arco Publications Ltd

GB 0248 UGD 243/22 Records of Staples Press Ltd

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and National Council on Archives,Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Fonds level description compiled by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, April 2003.

Geographical Names