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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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  • 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.

  • The World Bank

    A Bold Vision to Defeat River Blindness

    In March 1972, World Bank Group President Robert S. McNamara travelled to Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) to see first-hand the devastation wrought by onchocerciasis, or river blindness. Soon after, the Bank Group and its partners created the Onchocerciasis Control Program (OCP) which was the Bank Group’s first foray into the health sector.

  • The World Bank

    Ms. Thelma D. Jones: Model, Spirit of Volunteerism

    In this article, her third contribution in a series that celebrates Black History Month, World Bank Group archivist Bertha F. Wilson highlights former Bank Group staff member Thelma D. Jones. Jones has a long history of commitment to volunteerism and passion for creating opportunities for others.

  • 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!

  • The World Bank

    A Conversation: Robert S. McNamara at the World Bank

    On February 15th, 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.

  • The World Bank

    WBG Archives Reading Room Closed until Further Notice

    Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the World Bank Group Archives Reading Room will be closed to external visitors until further notice. The Archives will continue to respond to Access to Information requests during this time.

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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View WBG Archival Descriptions in ArchiveGrid

The World Bank Group Archives has added its archival descriptions to ArchiveGrid, the online network home to 7 million records from more than 1,400 archival institutions.

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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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