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Due to refurbishment works in the Sydney Jones Library, Special Collections and Archives is closed to users from Monday 3 June until Monday 16 September (inclusive). We're still available for your enquiries via email.

Special Collections & Archives: Rathbone Papersaccredited archive service logo

SC&A includes manuscripts and archives, medieval to modern; early and finely printed books, and science fiction collections.

Rathbone Papers

Family and business records of the Rathbones of Liverpool: non-conformist merchants and shipowners, philanthropists, politicians and social reformers, artists and patrons of the arts.

photo of Greenbank, Rathbone family home in LiverpoolGreenbank, c.1900. This was the Rathbone family home in Liverpool from 1788-1940.

The Rathbone papers comprise business and family papers. The family tree highlights the names of those most well-represented in the Rathbone Papers, who are also listed below.

Manuscripts and More blog posts about the Rathbones

Rathbone family members in the archive, by generation








Rathbone Papers highlights

Image of the women’s suffrage caravan Eleanor Rathbone, Independent MP

RP XIV.1.19: This postcard of a women’s suffrage caravan speaking tour was sent to Eleanor Rathbone by Jane Colquitt, August 16, 1912 from a tour to canvass suffragist support in rural areas in the Liverpool region. More about Eleanor Rathbone, Indendent MP (PDF).


 Image of flower taken from William Rathbone VI's Victorian flower albumWilliam Rathbone VI's Victorian flower album

RP XXV.3.1 was created by William Rathbone VI and his first wife Lucretia Wainwright Rathbone as a record of annual holidays from their honeymoon in 1847 to the month of Lucretia’s death in 1859. More about Flowers of the Holy Land (PDF).


Image of flower taken from The Story of Rathbones since 1742The Story of Rathbones since 1742

This history by David Lascelles covers 300 years of social and economic change seen through the prism of the firm's evolution from Liverpool trading house to international investment managers. Image: RP XXIV.3.5


 Image of symbols taken from the puzzling letter in the Rathbone PapersA puzzling letter in the Rathbone Papers

This rebus-style letter (RP XVIII.4) composed of pictograms was found amongst the papers of May Rathbone (1892-1960), and has been almost but not fully decoded. Discover the letter (PDF) and try decoding it.

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