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Home > News and Publications > News Release - Second release of historic Archive documents now available on Bank of England website

News Release - Second release of historic Archive documents now available on Bank of England website

03 April 2014

​Following the release of digitised material from the Bank of England Archive last year, a number of additional series are now being made available online.

A series of records commemorates Bank of England staff who served in the armed forces during the First World War. The efforts of Bank staff after the War to raise money for a permanent memorial to fallen colleagues is documented in a separate volume.
Among other material, is a historically important collection of letters written to the Bank’s solicitors, Freshfields, by prisoners awaiting transportation for crimes of forgery.  Forgery of banknotes was a capital offence, and the letters suggest a unique relationship between prisoners and the Bank, which was both prosecutor and benefactor. Many of the correspondents were women and the letters show the desperate circumstances in which most found themselves while in prison, and detail the financial support they received from the Bank. 
The Committee of Treasury was once one of the most important committees in the Bank of England and minutes for the period 1779-1910 are now available.
Records of three other Bank committees are included. The Committee for Building was responsible for the construction and maintenance of Bank buildings under a number of architects, most notably John Soane. The Committee for Lawsuits was responsible for Bank prosecutions and its minutes document all of the cases it considered. The Committee of Inspection was established to look into all aspects of the work of the Bank in the late 18th century.
Digitisation of selected Archive material continues and new content will be added to the website from time to time.
Notes to Editors
  1. The Bank of England Archive contains over 80,000 ledgers, files and individual records on all aspects of the Bank’s history, dating from its foundation in 1694 to the present day. The Archive supports the work of the Bank today, and provides facilities for researchers from all over the world.
  2. There is a fully searchable online catalogue containing all of the records that are open to the public. Records in the Archive generally become open for research after 30 years, but some are closed for longer periods where they contain information relating to customers, staff, security of the Bank and some aspects of its work.  Members of the public are free to consult the Bank's archives. The Archive is open to visitors by appointment on Monday - Thursday from 10:00 until 16:30.
  3. See