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Company archives at the Library

The Special Collections section of the Library holds the archives of various businesses and companies. These records span from the early days of the colony to recent times and often give not only business insights but also rich social history. Our collections include:

Arnotts Biscuit Company records Portrait of baby boy eating Arnotts biscuit with tin on "Endeavour" property - Murringo, NSW

This iconic brand began when Scottish immigrant William Arnott opened a shop in Hunter Street Newcastle in 1865. Newspapers in that year show he is advertising his business as making ‘all kinds of biscuits of the best quality’.  

His biscuit business flourished and by the early 1890s the Arnott family decided to open a factory in Forest Lodge Sydney. Arnotts went on to become one of Australia’s best known brands.

The library holds various records for Arnotts including cash books, contracts for ingredients, advertising and miscellaneous papers covering recipes, broken biscuits and finance papers.

Australian Gas Light Company, Jenkins Street, Sydney Australian Gas Light Company (AGL) records

The Australian Gas Light Company (AGL), established in 1837, was the first authority to manufacture gas in Australia. It supplied gas for the first public lighting of a street lamp in Sydney in 1841 and was the second company to list on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The collections we hold includes photographs and ephemera relating to the history of the company, staff and administration records, minutes, contracts, shares and newscuttings. (Please note these collections are restricted, contact the Library for more information)

Mark Foy's Limited records Kriesler Radio display at Mark Foy's

Mark Foy’s first store was opened in Oxford Street in 1885 by brothers Mark and Francis Foy. Their new store in Liverpool Street opened in 1908 and registered as a public company in 1909. Designed by architects McCredie & Anderson and based on the Bon Marche department store in Paris, it was one of Sydney’s most popular department stores and known for its twice yearly fair and attention-grabbing displays. 

The collection includes apprenticeship indentures, photographs, trade marks certificates and correspondence.

We also hold further records for each three companies as part of our Australian Stock Exchange microfiche and CD-ROM collection.


Rowe, C. (1991). Arnott's : 125 years of making & selling biscuits / written and edited by Charlotte Rowe. Homebush, N.S.W]: Arnott's Biscuits. (Accessed 12th July 2018) (Accessed 12th July 2018)