The Thomas Cook Archive comprises extensive written records relating to the company’s history from the firm’s foundation in 1841. They include unique letters, brochures, posters, passenger lists and guide books produced by the firm. There are also artefacts collected by the company.
The collection has been widely used by researchers. It is an invaluable primary resource for the history and development of the tourism industry and transport networks including travel by rail, sea and air. The archive also charts the changing social and political history of the UK and the many countries where the firm operated abroad including India, Turkey, Egypt, Spain and the Canary Islands.
Future of the collection
The Official Receiver has agreed that the Thomas Cook Archive will be presented to a professionally-run archive repository.
This step will help preserve the collection’s integrity and ensure the work of Thomas Cook’s staff in caring for and providing long-term public access and preservation to this unique internationally important collection will be continued for generations to come.
This decision was reached in liaison with the Business Archives Council and the Crisis Management Team which works with businesses, liquidators and receivers to respond to safeguard at-risk records.
In November 2019 a panel of representatives of the Business Archives Council, Official Receiver, archive profession and academic community was formed to decide a future home for the collection. The repository has been confirmed and the physical transfer of the collection will be completed by end of the year. Further news will be announced in the New Year.
Six artefacts will be sold to meet requirements of the liquidation process, see https://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/news/12112019-thomas-cook-liquidator-seeks-museum-buyer .