As a vital part of M&S, we preserve, develop and share our unique collection

The work we do with the collection at the archive enables M&S to celebrate and use our rich heritage for the good of the business, our customers and the wider community.

The M&S Archive was established in 1984, the year of our 100th anniversary. Over the next 30 years the archive was used for information and evidence, and stored in various M&S locations.

2009 marked another big birthday for M&S – 125 years. It was an ideal opportunity to open the archive collection up to the public, so an exhibition was planned. The exhibition, titled Marks in Time, opened in the Parkinson Building, University of Leeds, featuring previously unseen items and revealing the breadth and depth of the M&S story, it was a huge success.

The decision to invest in the archive, and in sharing it, culminated in 2011 when the entire archive collection was relocated from the first floor of a north London store to our current purpose-built, state-of-the-art Michael Marks Building on the University of Leeds campus. We opened our doors to visitors in March 2012, allowing full public access for the very first time, and we continue to share the collection through the permanent M&S Archive exhibition, our in-person and online events and our schools and community programmes.

The archive is a vital part of the business, supporting internal teams and departments ranging from product design and development, to legal enquiries, to informing development of our corporate values and celebrating our people through long service awards and store anniversaries.