About Barbour EHS

We provide a simplified and all-in-one solution to help you remain compliant with your obligations in six key areas: Health and Safety, Environment and Energy, Estates and Facilities Management, Fire and Security, Mental Health & Wellbeing, and our International service covering 26 countries.

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The Barbour Story

Barbour is the oldest and best-known provider of specialist information services to industry professionals. The main objective of the company has always been to provide professionals with the information they need to do the best job for their customers.

Whilst Barbour (originally known as Barbour Index) was officially formed in 1957, it has much earlier beginnings in a company called Architects Classifile, which started as early as 1941 in order to answer the desperate need for information faced by wartime architects and engineers in London.

In 1957, Bobby Barbour (brother to Patrick Barbour) formed a company called Architects Specifile. The company was based on collecting manufacturers’ trade catalogues and storing them in a filing cabinet. The catalogues were delivered in Central London by ladies on bicycles who visited the architects.

In 1958, Patrick Barbour joined the company for two years, which is when Barbour Index was formed. Shortly after this, Bobby left the company and Patrick took over. The rest, as they say, is history.

By the mid 1960s, the bicycles had been replaced by red minis, driven by young workers who were employed to maintain the tailor-made Barbour Index Product Library services. Microfiche was introduced in the late 1970s to provide comprehensive technical and product information.

Patrick Barbour leaning on a car
Through the next two decades, Barbour Index developed into the principal supplier of technical and manufacturers’ product data to the country’s construction industry. It floated on the Stock Exchange in 1987. The Health and Safety Microfile was launched in 1980, followed by Environmental Health, Fire and Safety, Food Safety, Environmental, Water and Trading Standards.

In 1997, Health & Safety Professional was launched, followed by Food Safety Professional, Environmental Professional and Trading Standards Professional – firstly as a CD-based service, followed shortly by an online product that has grown into the service offered by Barbour today.

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