- 1952 - 1981 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
8.80 linear feet of textual records
Name of creator
Benjamin B. King joined the World Bank in 1947 as an economist. He retired in 1981. During his long career he served in various parts of the Bank: the Economics Department (1947-1949, 1950-1952, 1965-1967), Office of the President (1949-1950), Europe, Africa & Australasia Department (1952-1957), Economic Development Institute (1957-1962), South Asia and Middle East Department (1962-1965), South Asia Department (1967-1970), Special Projects Department (1970-71), Economics Program Department (1971-1972),and Development Policy Staff (1974-1978). He completed his career as the Director, Development Economics Department, 1978-1981. From 1972-1974 King was seconded from the World Bank to serve as an adviser to the Canadian International Development Agency.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
The records were transferred to the Archives in two parts: the country series was transferred from the Development Economics Department in 1978 and the chronological file and the subject file were transferred in 1990.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Benjamin King retained a copy of papers he wrote and correspondence he drafted, both for his signature and for the signature of other Bank officials. Although there are gaps in the records, the chronological series provides a good overview of the interests of King and the issues with which he dealt as a staff member of the Bank.
The first part of the chronological file, dating from 1952-1967, includes items relating to King's missions to the Gold Coast, Germany, and Norway and contains notes on the status of operations, planning and procedures, currency, lending resources, and external debt. King also wrote notes on the General Training Committee and a 1955 draft curriculum for the Economic Development Institute, which King joined in 1957. The second part of the chronological file includes papers on the economic work in the Bank; comments on economic reports; drafts of the Charter of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); materials relating to external debt in Iran, India and Pakistan; a study of the feasibility of using computers in the Bank; and a paper on allocation of funds to the International Development Association. The final part of the chronological file includes memoranda and letters to members of the Research Committee and to external research institutions commenting on research proposals and reports. After King was appointed as Director of the Development Economics Department in 1978, the file includes documents on personnel, recruitment, plan, project evaluations, comments on economic reports and clearances for publications. Of particular interest are a March 1979 memo on the Department and King's summaries of the Board meetings he attended The subject files are clearly a fragment of a larger file, because they include only files with subject headings A-E. Many of the same issues found in the chronological file material area found here, including investment criteria, creditworthiness, terms of aid, program lending, and the use of computers. Two files on the Bernard Bell study on India and an agriculture file on India are useful supplements to the official records on the Bell study and to the Bernard R. Bell files. The External Debt Review Committee was established at the end of 1967 to investigate the collection, processing and use of international debt statistics by the Bank. King chaired the Committee in 1967-1968, and his subject files contain memoranda regarding the Committee meetings, the operations of the External Debt Section, material relating to a questionnaire on statistics, and comments on the Committee report.
The country files contain Economic Committee documents, interspersed with some original material of King's regarding economic missions and economic reports.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Accruals are not expected.
System of arrangement
Records are arranged in three series:
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Records are subject to the World Bank Policy on Access to Information.
Conditions governing reproduction
Records are subject to the Copyright Policy of the World Bank Group.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Physical file unit lists for Subject file series and Country files series are available.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Internal World Bank Group Archives rules based on ISAD(G).
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
26 August 2004