• Title
    Guinness Ireland
  • Reference
  • Date
    1759 - 1980
  • Scope and Content
    The collection represents the Guinness company’s history in Ireland from 1759 to the present day, including activities of its Irish subsidiaries. The majority of records document the transactions of the departments at St. James’s Gate Brewery. Brewing material (GDB/BR) documents the brewing of GUINNESS, principally at St. James’s Gate Brewery, and is either in ledger or file form. The earliest brewing ledger dates from 1798. Brewing ledgers record details of daily brews throughout 19th century to mid 20th century in the form of saccharometer books, brewhouse daily statements, storehouse books, vathouse books, sampling books etc. From the 20th century brewing files were also kept by the Head Brewer and senior brewing management to document all aspects of the brewing process and production of GUINNESS. Company material (GDB/CO), mostly in the form of files, includes the records of the governing Board, its Directors and the Company Secretary’s department. The principal records of the Board are the Board minutes that began at the company’s incorporation (1886), board orders (directions issued on all aspects of business to be followed by all within the Brewery), board endorsements (recommendations issued), annual reports. The executive Directors of the Board held senior management positions and received reports on all aspects of the Brewery’s business - management committees, personnel, operations, external affairs, trade, brewery history. Other functions covered by this category include the Company Secretary’s Department. The Company Secretary’s Department began principally as a trade department, managing trade in Ireland and with overseas markets, but by the 1940s it dealt almost exclusively with matters of corporate governance and legal issues. Distribution material, (GDB/DB) mostly in file form, documents transportation of GUINNESS Stout by road, rail and sea to customers in Ireland and abroad. The cooperage, and its successor the keg department, are also covered here. The transportation records document all modes of Brewery transport including: horses, motor vehicles, barges and shipping. The cooperage, and later kegging records, document the manufacture of these containers, and their use for the transport of GUINNESS Stout. This series also includes minutes books of the Regular Dublin Coopers Society. Engineering material (GDB/EN05) is in the form of files, maps, plans and drawings, and documents the work of the Brewery’s engineering functions, from individual engineers in the 19th century, to the work of the Engineer’s Department in the 20th century. Activities documented include: Brewery building and maintenance projects, installation, maintenance and design of Brewery machinery, Terenure Housing Scheme. Guinness family material (GDB/GU) contains any material connected with individual members of the Guinness family in their capacity as private citizens. The Guinness Archive holds only a very small selection of material in this category as the Guinness Family maintain their own family records. This series consists mainly of photographs. Marketing material documents (GDB/MK) the marketing activities by the company in Ireland, in particular advertising and merchandising. A wide variety of media are covered from paper-based materials in the form of departmental files and advertising posters to Audio-visual materials such as photographs and film, and artefacts in the form of memorabilia. The collection of GUINNESS memorabilia dates from 1930s to present day, and includes ceramics such as original Carlton Ware pieces, clothing samples, showcards, waiters trays, tin signs, and calendars. This series also documents a limited collection of overseas advertising in the United Kingdom (GPR/MK) and overseas (GOL/MK). Personnel, (GDB/PE) is one of the largest single categories within the collection, it covers employment within the Brewery, from individual employment files to personnel management and policies. Although some ledgers are included, most material is in file form. Personnel covers management policy and administration of the entire Brewery workforce, which in its peak numbered over 5000. This category gives a unique insight into the working conditions within the Brewery for all levels of staff. Packaging (GDB/PK) series is mainly in the form of packaging samples, either in paper or artefact form, such as labels, cardboard boxes, and bottles and cans. The samples record the evolution of GUINNESS branded packaging, for markets supplied from the St. James’s Gate Brewery, from the nineteenth century to the present day. Most of the samples were destined for the Irish market, although a small number of items represent packaging used in overseas markets prior to the 1960s. Raw materials (GDB/RM) records the purchase and management of raw materials within the Brewery, used in the production of GUINNESS Stout, primarily: barley, water, hops and yeast. The records are in the form of both files and ledgers. Activities recorded include: the operation and management of the company’s Hop Farms in England, maltings and raw materials departments; barley and hop purchases; disposal of spent hops, grains, and yeast, left over from the brewing process. Trade (GDB/SA) documents the supply of GUINNESS Stout, from the St. James’s Gate Brewery. The records cover the management of trade for the different markets supplied from St. James’s Gate, from Ireland to countries overseas. All the trade in overseas markets was managed from Dublin until the twentieth century. In the twentieth century, the management of overseas trade began to change. As new GUINNESS breweries were established overseas, and new subsidiaries were formed to handle brewing and marketing for overseas markets, the St. James’s Gate Brewery became less involved in the marketing and supply of overseas markets. After the opening of the Park Royal Brewery in London in 1936, responsibility for the supply of the British market was gradually transferred from Dublin to Park Royal. The management of supply and marketing in overseas markets was transferred to a new subsidiary, Guinness Exports Limited (GEL). A new drive to establish overseas operations began in the early 1960s and in 1963, ‘Guinness Overseas Limited’ (GOL) was formed. GOL was responsible for brewing of GUINNESS overseas, shares in other brewing companies overseas and brewing exports for overseas. Records concerning trade in overseas markets outside of Great Britain and Europe, do not reach beyond the 1940s. Even after the establishment of GEL, the St. James’s Gate Brewery retained direct control of trade in European markets, until the early 1960s. A large proportion of the records are in ledger form, although there is also a large body of file-based material. Activities documented include sales of GUINNESS, trade with customers, use of the distribution network for supply, market research conducted by sales representatives and early overseas travellers.
  • Level of description