Monday, June 18, 2012

Bank of England Archive Debuts On-Line Catalogue

Earlier this month, the Bank of England Archive placed the catalogue for most of its holdings on-line. The site includes various search options, instructions, and links to a name search that provides biographies of key actors. The Bank of England Archive contains over 80,000 ledgers, files, and individual records relating to all aspects of the history of the Bank and its work, dating from its foundation in 1694 to the present. As the Archives website explains:
The Bank's records are of prime importance to economic historians, but our holdings are also of interest to social, local, and business historians, architectural specialists, biographers and genealogists. In addition to long series of customer account and stock ledgers, our records include branch records, architectural plans and drawings, staff records, diaries and papers of members of staff, records from the Bank's solicitors which include case files on forgery and prisoners' correspondence, and modern files detailing changing policies, day to day work and relationships with international central banks and governments.
   The site does not include actual documents of any kind, but does provide researchers with a brief description and identifying numbers of records held. More recent records that have not yet been released for research are not included in the catalogue. Please see the website's "About the Catalogue" page for a fuller explanation of the contents and cataloging system.