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The Sainsbury Archive access and enquiries

The Sainsbury Archive documents the history of Sainsbury’s from its foundation in Drury Lane in 1869 to the present day. The Sainsbury Archive is held in the Sainsbury Study Centre at the Museum of London Docklands.

For any questions regarding the Sainsbury Archive, you can get in contact with the team via the details below. We aim to respond to all enquiries within 20 days, but this may take longer if the service is particularly busy. Read more about research visit appointments.

Contact us

The Sainsbury Archive
Museum of London Docklands
No. 1 Warehouse
West India Quay
London E14 4AL

email: [email protected]
tel: 020 7001 9852

What we hold

The Archive is a rich resource for specialist and general research on a wide range of topics including:

  • business and retail history
  • shopping and eating habits
  • architecture and urban development
  • advertising, display, packaging and product design
  • local and family history.

Online catalogue

More than 19,000 catalogue descriptions and 2000 digital images can now also be accessed via the online catalogue. The catalogue also includes a directory of key biographical information for the people and places with links to Sainsbury’s, including details of historical store locations.

Cataloguing and digitisation work is ongoing and new records are added on a regular basis.

Please contact us if you have questions about accessing the catalogue.

JS Journal Online

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, visit JS Journal Online (external link, opens in a new tab).


Do you have a question for us? If so, we’d love to hear from you.
email: [email protected] tel: 020 7001 9844

The Search Room

We welcome researchers who wish to view items in the collection on pre-booked research visits. The majority of material from the Sainsbury Archive is accessible in the Search Room by appointment.

The Search Room is located at the Museum of London Docklands.

Opening times

The Search Room is open by appointment on Thursdays, 10am-12.30pm and 1.30-3.30pm

Please note that you need to book an appointment in advance, as we are unable to accommodate drop-in users. The spaces can get booked up at busy times, so do leave enough time to allow for this if you are working to a deadline.

Making an appointment

To make an appointment please fill out the Research Visit Request Form (Word 160kb, opens in a new tab). To help us best deal with your request, you should be as specific as possible about what you wish to see and why. We will then contact you to confirm the appointment.

Conditions of access

The first time you visit the Search Room you will need to show two forms of original identification, proof of your name with signature and proof of address. See our Research Visits page for more information.

All visits will also be subject to the terms published on the reverse of the Research Visit Request form, which you will be asked to sign on arrival.

Search room facilities

The following facilities are available in the Search Room.

  • Lockers
  • Selected online resources including journals and relevant websites
  • Comfortable chairs and reading desks
  • Free leaflets and information sheets
  • Power points for personal computers
  • Reference library including journals

Reprographic services

The Sainsbury Archive can provide digital copies of our photographs and documents. To learn more please contact us.