The Clarks Archive

Collect from store

Honor Blackman being fitted with Clarks footwear for TV series 'The Avengers' in 1963. Her wardrobe was created by Frederick Starke (centre) and her boots - designed to complement her leather fighting suit - were fitted by G. Adlington (right).

Heritage represents an important part of the Clarks brand and our extensive archive, spanning six generations of the family firm, has grown to reflect this. Now protected by the Alfred Gillett Charitable Trust, the archive preserves a varied assortment of objects and papers that remain a rich source of ideas and inspiration for the company, whilst acting as a resource to those interested in our business, economic, genealogical, local, religious or social history.


Founded in 1825, C & J Clark became a private limited company in 1903, but the depth and diversity of the archive means that some material predates the eighteenth century. Business-related collections contain a wealth of advertising, films, accounting/financial records, images, minute books, original documents, point of sale material and printed sources appertaining to Clarks and its associated companies. Clark family papers comprise of albums, diaries, inventories, letters and wills; whilst the collection as a whole includes costume, drawings, furniture, maps, paintings and plans documenting local, civic and social development. Religious books, letters and papers relating to Quakerism are also present. Industry-specific objects include collections of shoe machinery and footwear.