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James Woolley, Sons and Co. Ltd Archive

Date range: 1838–1967.

Records of the wholesale and retail pharmaceutical firm of James Woolley, Sons & Co. Ltd of Manchester.

James Woolley (1811–58) set up his pharmacy business in 1833. After his death the firm was continued by his sons, trading as James Woolley, Sons & Co., and in 1895 it was incorporated as a limited liability company.

Woolleys manufactured and sold a wide range of products, including tablets, pills and capsules of all types, surgical equipment and trusses, talcum powder, health cordials and photographic equipment.

Records include:

  • legal and statutory documents
  • financial records such as ledgers, cash books and wages books
  • photographs of the company’s premises and commercial vehicles
  • scrapbooks of pharmaceutical advertisements
  • property records
  • insurance papers
  • printed histories of the company
  • material relating to the pharmaceutical industry in general

There is also a small quantity of personal papers of the Woolley family.

Finding aids

Catalogue available online via ELGAR.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library