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Historical resources

The ICAEW Library & Information Service holds a rich collection of material on the history and development of the accountancy profession, including a collection of online resources.

Use the options below to view the different strands to our collection, or use the A to Z of historical resources to view the full list.

Accountancy practices

Resources to help you trace the history of accountancy practices

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Research a firm's history

This guide is intended to provide a guide to the resources available from the ICAEW Library & Information Service that can be used to trace the history of a firm.

A guide to historical records

Chartered accountants in England and Wales- a guide to historical records is an essential work for anyone interested in tracing the history of accounting firms and the profession in England And Wales. The book is based around a survey of the archives of accounting archives conducted by the ICAEW in 1991 and 1992.

What's in a name

A series of simplified family trees showing the development of the big accountancy firms of the day. The series is a key resource for accounting historians grappling with the tangled history of mergers and demergers in the accountancy sector.

Accountancy Ancestors

An index to obituaries, biographical profiles and photographs to help researchers tracing their family history or who are studying the history of accountancy firms.

Accountancy profession

A collection of resources on the history of the profession

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Accounting historians' guide to London

London has played an important part in the history of accounting. The purpose of this brief guide by Professor R.H.Parker is to show clearly those places in and around the City of London which are of interest to accounting historians.

Index of UK and Irish accountancy and professional bodies

This index provides information on professional associations, bodies, societies and institutes in the UK and Republic of Ireland that are related to the accountancy profession.

Timeline

Steps to a professional body - a timeline of the development of the Accountancy Profession in the United Kingdom.

Female Firsts

Find out about the key female firsts in accountancy who helped pioneer the way for women in the profession.

Accountants

Resources to help you research Chartered Accountants from the past

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Accountancy Ancestors

An index to obituaries, biographical profiles and photographs to help researchers tracing their family history or who are studying the history of accountancy firms.

Accountants' directory 1877

The accountants' directory for 1877 provides a snapshot of the membership of the first professional bodies for accountancy in the 1870s, just a few years before the establishment of the ICAEW.

Wartime service

A collection of articles and resources that can help with research into members of your family or firm who served during the First and Second World Wars.

Biographical sources

The collection of the ICAEW Library & Information Service holds a range of biographical sources that provide an insight into the profession throughout the years

Knowledge Guide to Accountancy Ancestors

Trying to trace an ancestor or relative who was an accountant? The ICAEW Library & Information Service has produced a short guide for genealogists to highlight some of the resources that are available.

Membership Lists

A guide to our unique collection of over 220 series of membership lists for accountancy bodies from 1877 to the present day.

London practising accountants pre 1840

A study of practising accountants listed in London trade directories published before 1840, which provides an insight into the number of accountants practising in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in London. It is reproduced here by kind permission of the author, Peter Boys.

With the colours

The book 'With the colours; a list of Chartered and Incorporated Accountants and their Clerks who are serving with the British Forces on land and sea, 1914-1916' reproduced the lists of names previously published in The Accountant.

Female Firsts

Find out about the key female firsts in accountancy who helped pioneer the way for women in the profession.

ICAEW history

Resources on the history of ICAEW and Chartered Accountants' Hall

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Chartered Accountants' Hall

A brief history and overview of Chartered Accountants' Hall, home of the ICAEW since 1893.

The Institute Lady and the Coat of Arms

The identity of 'The Institute Lady' and the meaning of the coat of arms surrounding her is raised from time to time by curious members - and understandably so, as it can seem hard to imagine what connection the matronly figure with a ships rudder has to the Institute of Chartered Accountants...

Past Presidents 1880-2005

The respected accounting historian Peter Boys has prepared a series of chronological lists charting the Presidents, Vice Presidents and Deputy Presidents of the ICAEW from 1880 to 2005.

The mystery of the missing members

The article, The mystery of the missing members: the first 600 Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, by Peter Boys, is of particular significance to the early history of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). It is reproduced here on the ICAEW's Library web site by kind permission of the publishers, Taylor & Francis.

Historic examination material

The structure of the ICAEW examination system and the names of examinations have changed over time, which makes it a hard task to track down past examinations. In this knowledge guide we aim to help you track down the examination papers and their associated publications through the years - with guidance on where you can find online resources for recent and current examinations.

Female Firsts

Find out about the key female firsts in accountancy who helped pioneer the way for women in the profession.