Records of Huntley and Palmers

Huntley & Palmers started life in 1822 as a small bakery in London Street, Reading. In 1846 the firm opened a large factory on Kings Road in Reading and by 1900 this business was the largest biscuit manufacturer in the world, employing over 5,000 people. The firm merged with other biscuit makers including Peek Frean to become Associated Biscuit Manufacturers Ltd in 1969.  The Reading factory closed in 1972.

The archives cover the period 1837-1995. The collections consists of documentary materials from all areas of the business, including financial records, correspondence, sales records, promotional material, production records, packaging designs and specimens, photographs, published material and audiovisual items.

A complementary collection of Huntley & Palmers biscuit tins, photographs, oral histories, films and advertising ephemera, supported by a dedicated website is housed in the Huntley & Palmers Gallery at the Museum of Reading.

The University of Reading Special Collections Services and the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) homepage are housed in a Grade II listed building, which was originally known as East Thorpe, the home of Sir Alfred Palmer of the Huntley and Palmers biscuit company.

East Thorpe was designed and built by the architect Alfred Waterhouse between 1880–1882.

This online exhibition provides more information about the history of the building.

More information

local history, economics & economic history correspondence, business records, other archives/mss, art works huntley and palmers

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