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The Tea History Collection, based in Banbury UK, has been created by Denys C. Shortt OBE to commemorate the history of tea in and outside the United Kingdom by preserving it in its various forms for future generations. We are a space to gather for all tea-people alike, whether in-person or online.  


The THC is growing rapidly with donations and acquisitions of items from living individuals with a personal connection with tea. Therefore, there is a collection strength and focus on the mid to late 20th century. Materials from the 19th and 21st centuries are growing as well. 

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Collection Space

Purpose built building for collection storage, exhibition, gatherings  with a long table and 12 chairs, as well as a tea kitchen, available for use by reservation.  



400 volumes, and growing, on: tea companies & individuals, social history of tea, tea cultivation and manufacture etc.. The library is stored via category in five cabinets (Nos. 1-5), has been catalogued and is available through



Undigitized, but inventoried containing maps, printed adverts and ephemera,  documents and memorabilia associated with the business of tea in the UK, particularly to tea importers, brokers, manufacturers as well as London Tea Auction (1679-1998). The archive is stored in 2 cabinets (Nos. 6 & 7)  

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Video Library & Archive

A growing playlist of videos produced by the THC team to promote the collection, highlight its contents, and educate the public on the value and history of tea as well as a host.  

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Artefact Collection

Range of items including: retail tea units, caddies and teapots, various tea company marketing materials, and notably, a unit of some of the last tea sold at the London Tea Auction in 1998, and four decorative wall plaques from the London Tea Auction Room at Plantation House (raised), as well as door push plates, salvaged prior to demolished and saved again from the skip. The collection is out on display, and stored in cabinet numbers 8 & 9. 

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Support for tea history projects, which includes the cataloguing and photography of the entire 425 object tea collection of the Economic Botany Collection at Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London in 2022. We are delighted to make possible the expanded online access of this collection for everyone to enjoy.

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