Fonds JLD - Jarrold and Sons Ltd, Printers, publishers and retailers of Norwich

Identity area

Reference code



Jarrold and Sons Ltd, Printers, publishers and retailers of Norwich


  • 1649-2006 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

2219 pieces (approx 400 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Jarrold and Sons Ltd grew out of a grocer's and draper's business established in Woodbridge, Suffolk, by John Jarrold I in around 1770. Some years after his death his son, John Jarrold II, took over his father's premises, moving to London Street in Norwich in 1823, to set up as a printer, bookseller and stationer.
John Jarrold II's children John III, Samuel, William Pightling and Thomas took over the business after their father's death and the business was expanded, particularly the printing and publishing arms. The firm became known for publishing religious and temperance works, as well as novels such as 'Black Beauty'. A London office was opened in 1847.
In 1875, the company moved to St James' Mill, originally built in 1839 for the manufacture of yarn. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, branches were opened in Great Yarmouth, Cromer, Sheringham, Lowestoft and Cambridge. A furniture branch in Wymondham followed in the late twentieth century on the acquisition of Jacksons.
A public limited company was formed in 1902 and the printing works moved to Cowgate. The printing and publishing divisions began to operate from the St James Mill site in the early twentieth century. In 1921, the London publishing business was sold by the then chairman, Samuel Jarrold's son William, although the company continued to publish from Norwich throughout the twentieth century, concentrating on calendars and works on tourism and travel. The directorship of William's nephew Herbert John Jarrold saw a period of innovation in the printing side of the firm, which included the introduction of the first large four-colour printing machine in Europe in 1948.
The printing and publishing divisions were finally sold in 2007 and the company began to concentrate on Retail, Property, Training and Facilities Management.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Received by the Norfolk Record Office on 6 November 2001 (ACC 2001/208), 15 December 2001 (ACC 2001/245), 14 May 2002 (ACC 2002/39), 19 October 2002 (ACC 2002/163), 5 August 2006 (ACC 2006/110-111), 8 March 2010 (ACC 2009/364), 31 March 2010 (ACC 2009/396), 12 April 2010 (ACC 2010/8), 23 July 2010 (ACC 2010/108), 15 September 2010 (ACC 2010/160), 23 June 2010 (ACC 2010/116), 31 October 2011 (ACC 2011/200), and 11 July 2012 (ACC 2012/79), 20 August 2014 (ACC 2014/110). List added by AH in 2010 and updated 2018 (BK/AB).

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The records in this collection have been divided into the papers of the Jarrold family and its members and the archives of the family business, Jarrold and Sons Ltd, with its related companies.

The family papers comprise papers belonging to, or associated with, prominent members of the Jarrold family, some of which relate to their involvement in the business.

The business records comprise records relating to the company's main divisions of Retail, Printing, Publishing and Office Supplies. It includes series of records such as management papers, financial and accounting records, property records, records relating to staff, and records relating to the main business of the division, such as printing or retail sales. There are also records relating to aspects of the company which were administered centrally rather than by individual division, such as shareholding or staff magazines. Although material exists on a wide range of aspects of the company, survival has been patchy and few complete series survive. There is also a small amount of material relating to minor divisions and affiliated organisations: Jarrold Wholesalers, PrePress Solutions, Software, the John Jarrold Trust and the John Jarrold Printing Museum.

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Related units of description

For oral history interviews relating to Jarrold and Sons Limited, see AUD 7/12.

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Accession area