Bank of England Archive

The Bank of England Archive contains over 88,000 records relating to all aspects of the Bank’s history and work, dating from when the Bank was founded in 1694 to the present day.

The Bank of England Archive supports the Bank’s work today, and is open for research by appointment to visitors from all over the world.

The records in the Archive cover everything from minutes of our governing committees such as the Court of Directors to modern files on our policymaking and domestic and international work, as well as our relationship with other central banks and governments. We have a large collection of staff records and customer account and stock ledgers, which can be used to research genealogy.

The Archive includes architectural plans and drawings relating to the history of the Bank of England site, correspondence from our regional branches on developments in local trade and industry and records from our solicitors. The Archive also holds the Bank’s photograph collection, which documents the history of the building, staff and key events.

How to contact us

The easiest way to contact the Bank of England Archive is to email archive@bankofengland.co.uk. Alternatively you can call 020 3461 3388 or write to: Bank of England Archive, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH.

Using the Archive

Anyone can visit the Bank of England Archive by appointment, as long as they are doing genuine research.

We recommend that you consult our online catalogue before you visit and let us know what records you would like to see. The catalogue contains descriptions of records, rather than the records themselves.

Online catalogue

If you cannot find what you are looking for, you are welcome to contact us with a brief summary of your research and we will be happy to advise you. In the case of genealogical enquiries, we can usually check a small amount of salary ledgers or customer account or stock indexes.

Making an appointment

The Archive is open by appointment only, Monday to Thursday from 10am until 4.30pm.

Appointments must be booked at least one working day ahead, via email or phone. We advise you to book well in advance and before making travel arrangements, as demand is high throughout the year and we cannot guarantee space will be available at short notice.

Each individual visitor requires an appointment, and appointments are for the named person only. If you are planning to visit with a colleague, friend or relative, each person will require a separate appointment. If you are unable to visit in person, you are welcome to send someone on your behalf.

ID requirements

Every visitor must provide, before their first visit, two separate forms of proof of identity, one showing a photograph (for example a passport, national identity card or driving licence) the other showing your address (for example a utility bill or bank statement). 

During your visit

On arrival, researchers must complete a user registration form agreeing to the Bank’s conditions of access.

Wi-Fi is available in the building.

The search room is open at lunchtime, though no files can be ordered between 12.30pm and 1.30pm. There is a seating area available, where visitors can eat their lunch.
 

Self-service photography

We are unable to provide copies of documents, but researchers are welcome to use their own cameras or other devices to make copies for private or non-commercial research. Please bring your own camera as we are unable to lend you one. Stands for cameras are available. Cameras may only be used in designated areas, and after you have completed the appropriate copyright agreement.
 
Please make sure that you are happy with the quality of your images before you leave the search room, as we are unable to retake photographs on your behalf.
 

Access to records

As a result of changes in legislation, since 2013 it has been the Bank’s policy to make most records over 20 years old available to the public for research. The change from the current 30 year closure period to 20 will be achieved through an accelerated release of material over a ten-year period, between 2013 and 2022.
 
It is however necessary to keep some records closed for longer, for reasons of confidentiality and sensitivity. For more information see our access to records statement.


PDFAccess to records

As part of the annual sensitivity review we routinely release several hundred files, after the appropriate closure period has expired. A large proportion of the files, totalling over 64,000, are available to the public for research. To see descriptions of these, please use our Archive catalogue.
 

Online catalogue

How to get to the Bank of England Archive

The Archive is located inside the Bank of England in London. Visitors should use the main Bank entrance on Threadneedle Street, EC2R 8AH. 

Visiting us

Digitised documents

A number of Archive documents have been digitised:

  • Committee for Building Minutes 1764-1871
  • Committee of Inspection Minutes 1783-90
  • Committee for Lawsuits Minutes 1802-1908
  • Committee of Treasury Minutes 1779 - 1991
  • Daily Account Books 1851-1983
  • Diaries of Bonamy Dobree 1857-61
  • Diaries of Montagu Norman 1913-44
  • Directors' Annual Lists 1694-1950
  • First World War Service Records 1914-19
  • Freshfields Prison Correspondence 1781-1840
  • Index to Original Subscribers to Bank Stock 1694
  • Memorial to Fallen Colleagues 1914-18
  • The Bank of England 1914-21 (Unpublished War History)

  • The Bank of England 1939-45 (Unpublished War History)

  • The Old Lady - War Memorial Supplement, 1939-45
This page was last updated 06 December 2017
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