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The Sainsbury Archive

The Sainsbury Archive documents the history of Sainsbury’s from its foundation in Drury Lane in 1869 to the present day.


A customer shops in a Sainsbury's grocers.

Unique collection

The Sainsbury Archive is a unique collection of documents, objects, photographs and film charting the history of the supermarket since 1869.

The collection provides a social history from Victorian times to the present day. It gives insight into how British people shopped, the food they ate and the changing way food was sold to them. It is particularly strong in the areas of advertising, packaging and retail stores.


History of food

It also documents the growth and management of the company with material relating to all aspects of the business, including head office operations, food supply, production and distribution, subsidiary companies and staff records.

We also hold papers relating to former subsidiaries and associated companies, including Homebase, Savacentre, Texas Homecare and Shaw’s.

Online access to the archive

Our website and online catalogue features thousands of objects telling the story of Sainsbury's and shopping across 150 years.

It is also possible to browse and search the digital archive of Sainsbury’s in-house magazine, JS Journal (now The Journal) from the first issue in December 1946 to the present day.

The future

The archive is a record of Sainsbury’s past and present. When new material has passed out of current business use, it is transferred to the archive.

Contact us & visit the Archive

You can arrange a visit to the Sainsbury Study Centre to inspect archive material first-hand.

The archive welcomes donations of significant items that inform the history and evolution of the company. Contact us if you have material you would like to donate.

email: [email protected]