Series - Board of Governors support and reference

Identity area

Reference code



Board of Governors support and reference


  • 1946 - 1977 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

11.98 linear feet of textual records

Context area

Name of creator

Archival history

Since 1946, Secretary's Department is responsible for providing support services to the governing bodies of the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the subsequent organizations of the World Bank Group. The department is also the authorized custodian of the records and proceedings of the Board of Governors, Board of Directors, and the committees of these bodies. As specified in the 1947 Administrative Manual, the Secretary's Department and four other "specialized" departments were permitted to maintain their own files outside of the Bank's General Files. Agenda, minutes, reports, and similar documents related to the Board were also excluded from the Bank's centralized files, "except those distributed by the Secretary for filing." The nature of records distributed for filing in Central Files is unclear, particularly in terms of which supporting reports or other documents were forwarded by the Secretary with the correspondence. The procedure in the earliest Secretaries' Guide (1965) states that yellow copies of outgoing correspondence and the original incoming letters should be distributed to the official General Files once action has been taken. The only exception indicated are "letters from Executive Directors". This practice appears to have changed by 1972 in the revised Secretaries' Guide which asserts that all incoming original correspondence and yellow copies of outgoing correspondence are to be sent to the "appropriate filing station" as soon as action has been taken. The appropriate filing station was either the Secretary's filing station, the Central Files station, or the IFC File Station after it was created in 1971. If in doubt where to send the material, Secretary's staff was instructed to confer with the Records Management Section chief. By 1974, the Bank record schedules indicate that files related to Board of Governors policies and procedures as well as correspondence of Annual Meetings and the Annual Reports were held in the renamed Bank Administration and Policy (BAP) Records Stations and that the master sets are maintained by the Secretary's Department.

All records sent by the Secretary's Department to the Central Files over time were arranged into the Bank-wide classification scheme by the Records Management Section responsible for maintaining the centralized files. To create more space for the increasing volume of Central Files, the inactive files were sent by the Records Management Section to the Bank's off-site records center in systematic transfers beginning in 1969. With the formal opening of the Archives repository in 1980, the section began to transfer identified archival records to the custody of the Archives.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Series consists of records relating to the functions of the Board of Governors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Development Association (IDA), and International Finance Corporation (IFC) created between 1946 to 1977 that were maintained in the centralized files system. The records in this series primarily originated from the Secretary's Department and the Office of the President. As described in the archival history section, Secretary's Department is the custodian of Board of Governors records and proceedings, but distributed certain correspondence and related documents to the Central Files while maintaining its own official files. Types of records in the series include internal memoranda, letters and cables, and original letters from government officials. Occasionally accompanying the correspondence are Board documents, press clippings, and printed material such as booklets.

A sizable portion of the series contains records related to World Bank Group Annual Meetings beginning from 1950 to 1977. Meeting files include correspondence regarding meeting arrangements, guests, consultations and briefing appointments, panel discussions, committee agendas, staffing, joint procedures, social events, public relations, and liaison and agreements with International Monetary Fund (IMF). There is also correspondence and other records relating to the President's speech to the Annual Meetings such as: proposals of topics; provision of data including ten-year figures on Bank activities; preliminary and final speech issued as a press release; and governors' reactions to the addresses in the form of letters. Summary of proceedings from 1965 are included in a portion of the files.

Series also contains records relating to the preparation of IBRD, IDA, and IFC annual reports (1950 - 1977) presented by the Bank president at the Annual Meetings. Although there is no first annual report booklet for IFC within the files, the series contains IFC's second and other printed annual reports, as well as memoranda concerning the preparation and drafting of the first IFC annual report. Records of the earliest annual reports from the first to fifth reports are absent from the IBRD and IDA files, although there are memoranda and a press release summary of the sixth annual IBRD annual report and subsequent reports. Also included in the files is a statement of Bank policies for the 1950 annual report outlined in a memorandum from Martin Rosen to J. Burke Knapp and memoranda regarding submissions of text for inclusion and draft reports, and printing of the reports.

General files beginning from 1946 contain mostly routine correspondence regarding travel of Governors to annual meetings, expenses, and allowances. The substantive correspondence includes discussion of procedural issues in accordance with the articles and by-laws, first IFC investment involving equity and a drafted letter to be sent by President Black to governors regarding IFC chairmanship.

Series also contains records relating to early Board committees (1948 - 1950) such as the Committee on Rules and Regulations, Committee on Membership, and Ad Hoc Committee to consider provisions to duties and renumeration of Executive Directors. The Committees file contains outgoing memoranda primarily from the Bank secretary and Board committee reports and resolutions. Most of the correspondence is administrative and relates to travel and distribution of documentation. A file on the Advisory Council (1948 - 1950) includes draft notes and resolutions.

Also included in the series is the Board of Governors supplementary report to United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC, 1965) and two files on Board resolutions (1969 - 1971).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arrangement follows the original order established in General Files (1946 - 1968). Files are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are subject to the World Bank Access to Information Policy. Records relating to the International Finance Corporation are subject to the IFC Access to Information Policy.

Conditions governing reproduction

Records are subject to the Copyright Policy of the World Bank Group. Records relating to the International Finance Corporation are subject to the Copyright Policy of IFC.

Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • German

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

An inventory list is available here.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

  • See Secretary's Department for proceedings and other official records of the Board of Governors and its committees for which the department serves as secretariat.

  • See Central Files - Board of Directors support and reference (WB IBRD/IDA ADMCF-02) for additional records relating to the Ad Hoc Committee to consider provisions to duties and renumeration of Executive Directors.

  • Records of the Office of the President (WB IBRD/IDA EXC).

  • See Records of the Office of External Relations - External communication and production (WB IBRD/IDA EXT-11) and Records of the Office of External Relations - Documentation of institutional meetings, press conferences, and other events (WB IBRD/IDA EXT-12) for audio recordings of President speeches and other participants' addresses at the Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors.

Related descriptions

Notes area

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Internal World Bank Group Archives rules

Disclosure status

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

23 April 2021




Accession area