The Christmas Catalogue

You can complete our survey via the City of Edinburgh Council’s Consultation Hub.

Jenners Christmas catalogue 1955
Jenners Christmas catalogue from 1955. From collection held at Edinburgh City Archives.

We all have that one toy we really really wanted as a child, and if you were very well behaved you might even have been lucky enough to get it!

Here in the City Archives, we hold archival records from Jenners Department Store on Princes Street, and in amongst the records are a fantastic collection of Christmas brochures. These include the top selections of toys that would have been appearing on a lot of Santa lists.

Jenners was founded by Charles Jenner and Charles Kennington in 1838 and had stood prominently on Edinburgh’s Princes Street ever since. The store has held a Royal Warrant since 1911, and when it was bought over by House of Fraser in 2005, it retained its name and iconic identity.

As well as finding out what were the ‘hot’ buys of years gone by, there are plenty other records in the collection to show everything from who worked there, legal and financial account, as well as brilliant photographs and advertising merchandise, etc.

Edinburgh remembers its shops, businesses, and industries through their historical records, preserved in different archive institutions in the city and beyond.

The City Archives itself preserves numerous reports on economic development in Edinburgh over the centuries, but it also preserves a host of business records covering many different commercial and industrial organisations. These records tell us the story of how Edinburgh has changed as a place to work, trade and shop over the years, and how this is still evolving today.

Survey of Industry in 1949 from “A Civic Survey and Plan for Edinburgh” by P Abercrombie & D Plumstead

We preserve these records to tell us about the past; but we want you to tell us what we should collect about life today for tomorrow: