Marks & Spencer is to showcase highlights of its history at the University of Leeds as it celebrates its 125th anniversary this year.

M&S will move pieces of its extensive archive collection from London, celebrating the 125 years after Michael Marks, the company’s founder, opened his first stall at Leeds' Kirkgate market in 1884.

The archive will include more than 60,000 items, including products, photographs and advertising. The exhibition will start from early summer and the university will also host a series of lectures on the archive.

Executive chairman Sir Stuart Rose said: “M&S has been at the heart of the community for 125 years and since we began life as a market stall in Leeds we have amassed a wonderful collection of products and memorabilia that offer an intriguing insight into the M&S of today.

“In this special year, we are delighted to be celebrating our Leeds roots by exhibiting part of our company archive for the first time here in the city. The University of Leeds, with its outstanding academic reputation, is the perfect partner for this collaboration.”

M&S and University of Leeds are also in talks about permanently relocating the entire company archive to Leeds to a purpose-built location on its campus.