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World Bank Group Archives

The Archives preserves 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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  • Colbert King

    Mr. Colbert I. King: U.S. Executive Director and Pulitzer Prize Winner

    To mark Black History Month this year, World Bank Group Archivist Bertha Wilson explores the achievements and contributions of Colbert I. King, the United States' first African American Executive Director.

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    Take a Look! Country Historical Profiles Website Launched

    The Archives' new Country Historical Profiles website offers a dynamic view of WBG membership over time and profiles of every Bank Group country member, past and present. Profiles include membership information, first loans, important events, economic reports, lists of Country Directors and Executive Directors, and much, much more!

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    WBG Archives Reading Room Reopened September 12, 2022

    The World Bank Group Archives reading room reopened to fully vaccinated researchers on September 12, 2022, by appointment. Digitization service for Access to Information requests will continue.

  • Maritta Koch-Weser loan signing
    Development Reflections Series

    Planting the Seeds of Social Development

    In the second installment of our Development Reflections Series, former World Bank Group staff member Dr. Maritta Koch-Weser reflects on the emergence of social development in the World Bank Group's work and her contributions as one of the Bank's first social scientists.

  • WBG Archivist podcast with the EABH

    WBG Archives Featured on EABH Podcast

    WBG Archives Manager April Miller joined the European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH) podcast to discuss how the World Bank Group has evolved over time and what makes the Bank's Archives unique. Take a listen!

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    A Conversation: Robert S. McNamara at the World Bank

    Olivier Lafourcade, former personal assistant to WBG President Robert S. McNamara, joined moderator John Heath to discuss a new book on McNamara authored by McNamara's former assistants. Learn more about the publication and watch a video recording of the event.

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.

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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

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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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WBG Web Archives

The Web Archives provides access to World Bank websites that have been discontinued or significantly updated. Archived sites date from 1998 to the present. 

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Uncover the Treasures of the Archives

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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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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Country Director Database

Contains country director data from 1972 to 2020.

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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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Records Management Roadmap

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

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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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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.


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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