About the National Brewery Centre Archives

This archive website and the underlying system of record has been kindly supported by the National Brewery Heritage Trust who have helped, and continue to support in cataloguing and digitising collection items.

The overall collection consists of a number of individual collections viz:

Bass Holdings – the majority owned by Molson Coors Brewing (UK) Ltd and the rest by Budweiser Brewing UK Ltd as a result of their acquisition of Bass;

Brewery History Society – owners of the Allied Brewery items;

Mansfield Brewery – who transferred their archives to NBC on closure of the business;

Burtonwood Brewery – who transferred their archives to NBC in 2019;

Bass Museum, NBC Library and National Brewery Heritage Trust owned items;

What do the archives contain?

Included in these collections is a vast range of material covering many UK brewers, both those who were the subject of acquisitions and mergers and many that weren’t. The information covers all aspects of brewing life from grain to glass.

However, it is not just brewery related material that is covered by the collections as in addition to the brewing collections, there are a number of small collections of a local nature including, Burton History, Burton Town Museum, Burton District Cricket League and Orton & Spooner Ltd with information ranging from local pictures to cricket to fairground attractions.

The collection started to be accumulated for the opening of The Bass Museum (now known as the National Brewery Centre) in 1977 as a celebration of the bi-centenary of Bass & Co. and has grown over the years through donations and transfers as noted above to its present scale.

What is not on this catalogue?

Although recorded in the underlying system of record, this catalogue does not include records about the Museum artefacts.

As yet, this catalogue represents less than 15% of what we hold at the NBC. Cataloguing and digitising are an ongoing process, so it is clear that much of our material will not be found on the catalogue so if you have a question for which you cannot find an answer on the Catalogue then please contact The NBC Collections Officer on 01283 532880

OR use the contact form on the NBC web site

OR write to us at

The National Brewery Centre, Horninglow Street, Burton upon Trent, DE14 1NG

If you are planning to visit the archives see the instructions on the Contacts and visits tab.

If you are planning to visit to view the Museum you will find details of our opening hours and how to find us on the NBC website.

Structure of the Archive

This Catalogue contains around 30,000 items, each of which has a reference code that should be quoted in any correspondence or dialogue.

Coding Structure

The National Brewery Centre Archives is known as an archive location by the code GB27779

Collection is the highest-level record type and each is given a three-letter code e.g. Bass Holdings Collection is BAH.

Fonds or Sub Fonds form the second level and again each is given a three-letter code e.g. Ansells Brewery Ltd is ANS

Series occupy the next level and their code is made up of two part. Firstly a repeat of the second level code plus one of the following codes:-

ACCT = Accounting Records

PROC = Brewing Process Records

CORP = Corporate Records

MARKT = Marketing Records

MISC = Miscellaneous Records

EQPT = Plant & Equipment Records

PREM = Premises Records

PROD = Production Records

SALES = Sales Records

STAFF = Staff Records

TRANS = Transport Records

RMAT = Raw Materials Records

COMM = Community Records

Accession Number is the last part of the code and is made of three parts as follows

Year. Sequence number within the year. Item

example 98.0155.09

So full code GB27779 BAH/ANS/ANSCORP/98.0155.09 would be an item from the Bass Holdings Collection relating to Ansell’s Brewery Ltd, which was the 9th item in a Corporate series which was the 155th accessioned in 1998.

In this case it leads you to Ansells Brewery Limited Directors’ Report, Profit and Loss Account and Balance Sheet 3 October 1948.

Other features

In addition to record coding, AtoM the underlying system of record, also offers the use of Access Points which are extremely useful in getting to information quickly when searching. All items in the catalogue, where known, have access points relating to Subject, Place, Genre and Name which are passed to this public facing catalogue.

Services offered

The services we offer in connection with the Archives are as follows:-

For personal use

Photocopying at A4 and A3 sizes in black & White or colour;

  • Reproduction on Silk Paper of any picture in original colour at any size from A4 to A0 (via Reflex or other printer);
  • Reproduction on Stretched Canvas of any picture in original colour at any size from A4 to A0 (via Reflex or other printer);
  • Supply of Brewers of Burton picture
  • Supply of any digital image;
  • Personal research for those who cannot get to the NBC

For commercial use

  • Commercial publication or exhibition of any exhibit-able asset;
  • Community / Academic publication or exhibition of any exhibit-able asset.