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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/B/112-081
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1912-1979
Level of description: Collection
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Extent: 107 production units comprising 1 volume, 4 bundles, 1 folder, 17 binders, and 84 envelopes.
Name of creator(s): Harrisons Ramsay Proprietary Ltd | importer of tea and coffee


Administrative/Biographical history:

Harrisons Ramsay Proprietary Limited (importer of tea, coffee and other produce) was registered in 1914 in Australia to amalgamate the tea business in Australia and New Zealand of Fraser Ramsay Proprietary Limited, Fraser Ramsay (New Zealand) Limited, Harrisons and Crosfield Limited's Melbourne office (which opened in 1910), and Harrisons and Crosfield's New Zealand business. It was re-registered in 1916 and again in 1920 with an altered capital structure. It had a head office in Melbourne, and offices in Brisbane, Sydney and Wellington.

In the 1920s the imports were extended to jute, lentils and other foodstuffs, in the 1930s a soft-goods department was created and in the 1940s new departments for timber, metal and chemicals were set up. Its name was changed in 1962 to Harrisons and Crosfield (A.N.Z.) Limited (a new company with a nominal capital was formed with the title Harrisons Ramsay Proprietary to preserve the name and goodwill attached to it). In 1975 the name was changed to Harrisons and Crosfield (Australia) Limited and the operations in New Zealand were controlled by a separate company called Harrisons and Crosfield (N.Z.) Limited.

In 1928 Harrisons Ramsay Proprietary Limited was involved in the formation of Coconut Products Limited, and it held half the share capital. It also held a large interest in Robur Tea Company (see CLC/B/112/MS38098-101). In 1953 the company's holdings in Harrisons and Eastern Export were transferred to Harrisons and Crosfield Limited. For historical notes on the company see CLC/B/112/MS37389.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Harrisons Ramsay Proprietary Limited, including articles of association; minutes of the board; annual reports; reports on visits to branches; correspondence; memoranda; general reports; financial accounts; summaries of shipments and sales; correspondence regarding arrangements for staff during the Second World War; and papers of various subsidiaries.

Access to records less than 30 years old (or records less than 70 years old which relate to staff) should be sought from Elementis plc (contact details may be obtained from a member of staff).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Records arranged by MS number, assigned during cataloguing at the Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section.

Conditions governing access:

Restricted access: please see staff.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The records of Harrisons and Crosfield and its subsidiary and secretarial companies were transferred to Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section between 1990 and 1998. The records were presented as a gift to the Library, except the minute books of some subsidiary companies which are held as a deposit. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Harrisons and Crosfield Ltd collection has been divided into 167 sub-fonds; CLC/B/112-001 to CLC/B/112-167. 001 to 016 are records relating to Harrisons and Crosfield (such as operational records, staff records, property records and so on), and 017 to 167 are the records of subsidiaries, plantations and associated organisations.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
November 2010 to January 2011.

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