Barkers of Kensington


It was with regret that the House of Fraser announced the closure of its Barkers department store in Kensington in January 2006. This marks the end of more than a century of retail history but the store, and the people associated with it, will forever be remembered in the House of Fraser Group Archive held at the University of Glasgow.

The Archive has been at the University since 1979 when the department store chain decided to centralise their heritage collections to ensure they survived for future generations to understand the importance of the group to British business history. Founded in Glasgow, there was no better home for the material than as a cornerstone of the University’s Scottish Business Archive. The Barkers collection predominantly covers the early and mid 20th century but the overall date range of the material held is 1870 to 1988. We hope to acquire material covering the final 18 years.

Photographs, building plans and promotional catalogues sit alongside minute books, sales records and advertisements awaiting use by the thousands of researchers who visit the business archive reading room every year. The facility is open not just to Glasgow University staff and students but to anyone who wants to learn more about the history of the House of Fraser Group throughout Britain. Details of how to visit us are provided on our opening hours and admission section.

A sample of images from the archive is provided here along with a history of the company. These are provided for personal research purposes. Anyone wishing to make use of the images and text for commercial purposes should contact us to discuss their plans.

For further information about the collections used for the Barkers of Kensington exhibition or if you would like permission to use the text accompanying this exhibition, again please contact us.