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World Bank Group Archives

The Archives protects the institutional memory of the World Bank Group and provides public access to records of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA).

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The World Bank
Exhibit

Bretton Woods and the Birth of the Bank

On July 1, 1944, delegates from forty-four nations met in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to agree on a new system of international cooperation. Learn more about this historic meeting and view folder lists of related archival records.

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Video

"Uncover the Treasures of the Archives" in Our New Video

This short promotional video describes the possibilities available to researchers when they “jump in and explore” the holdings of the World Bank Group Archives.

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Introducing the Country Director Database

The role of the Country Director, created as part of a Bank-wide reorganization implemented on Oct. 1, 1972, is to lead the planning and execution of country sector and project work for their assigned countries. This database contains country director data from 1972 to 2020.

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Feature

Remembering the Contributions of President James D. Wolfensohn

Many of the initiatives, projects, and reforms implemented under the leadership of World Bank Group President James D. Wolfensohn, who died on Nov. 25th, 2020, left an indelible stamp on our institution.

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World Bank Group Archives Launches Records Management Roadmap

The Roadmap is a multi-part toolkit, designed to help governments and public-sector organizations implement strategic and coordinated improvements in records management.

World Bank Group Historical Timeline

The timeline offers an engaging way to learn about the important moments in the history of the World Bank while discovering the gems of the World Bank Group Archives.

Explore the Timeline
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Archives Catalog

The Archives Catalog contains archival descriptions and provides access to digitized records.

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Photo Catalog

The Photo Catalog provides access to thousands of photos relating to World Bank operations, presidents, official signings, and more.

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Oral History Program

The Oral History Program website contains transcripts, summaries, and audio clips of interviews with former World Bank staff.

Archives Spotlight

The World Bank
Exhibit

Articles of Agreement Ratification 75th Anniversary

On December 27, 1945, representatives from twenty-one countries convened in Washington, DC to ratify the World Bank's Articles of Agreement and usher the Bank into existence.

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Video

World Bank Group History: Exploring the Archives

This video surveys the course of the World Bank’s history while introducing the various types of records that can be found in the Archives’ holdings.

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Video

Explore the Resources of the World Bank Group Archives

Learn about the many electronic resources that can help answer your research question or inform more indepth archival research.

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Website

Documents and Reports

Access Bank Group-authored reports, including Board Documents, Economic and Sector Work reports, project documents, and publications and research.

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Website

Country Director Database

Contains country director data from 1972 to 2020.

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Website

Projects & Operations

Provides contextual information for each World Bank project, past and present, as well as a folder list of archival records that relate to each project.

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Website

Past Presidents' Speeches

Access transcripts of over 1,000 speeches made by former World Bank Group presidents from 1946 to 2018.

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External Partnership

Columbia University's History Lab Project

See the results when machine learning strategies are applied to Robert S. McNamara’s World Bank records.

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Publication

Guide to the World Bank Group Archives

This accessible introduction to conducting research in the Archives consolidates all the information you need to begin your research.

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Access to Information

Access to WBG records is governed by the Access to Information Policy.

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Submit a Request

After researching what materials you need in our catalog, submit a request for access.

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Inside the Archives

The Archives' innovative Digital Preservation Program paves the way for the future. 

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Engage

Keep up with the latest news and releases from the WBG Archives.

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