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The Thorp Archive

Our flourishing research and scholarship culture celebrates and enables original investigation; extending knowledge fields and developing new understanding within the arts.

Explore the Thorp Modelmaking Archive at AUB

AUB is the proud custodian of the Thorp Modelmaking Archive, a unique and extensive collection of photographs and documents charting the history of Thorp Modelmakers, the oldest architectural modelmakers in Britain.

You can search the archive’s catalogue records online and arrange to see the collection by appointment at AUB. Follow us on Twitter.

What's in the archive?

Founded by John Thorp in 1883, the company’s archive provides an insight into the origins and development of architectural modelmaking as a professional practice, as well as a remarkable resource for architectural historians, through the company’s work producing thousands of architectural models over more than a century.

The archive includes:

  • Photographs of architectural models made between 1890 and 1996
  • Business documents including ledgers, payroll records, and correspondence
  • Marketing materials
  • Press cuttings

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The Thorp Archive is available to be viewed Monday to Friday, by appointment only.

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Introducing the Thorp Archive

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Great Models documentaries

Learn more about some of Thorp’s greatest models in this series of short documentary films.

Archival films

The Thorp Archive holds several fascinating newsreel films from the 1920s showcasing John Thorp and his modelmakers at work, and a copy of a 1968 documentary made to promote the Pilkington Glass Age Development Committee’s Sea City proposal.

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