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Description archivistique
Records of the Office of the Historian
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Records of the Office of the Historian

  • WB IBRD/IDA HIST
  • collection
  • 1946 - 1999 (predominant 1989 - 1998)
  • 1946 - 1999 (predominant 1989 - 1998)

Because of the broad scope of the work of the office, which was essentially the entire history of the Bank, the records are extremely varied. They include: written reminiscences, solicited or volunteered, by former Bank staff members; drafts of various publications, both Bank and non-Bank; commentaries on drafts, discussing the commenters' views of particular issues and events; and background research materials used by the World Bank History Project.

The largest body of original source material in the fonds is the set of interviews conducted by the World Bank History Project authors as part of their research for the two-volume The World Bank: Its First Half Century. Typed notes are the only record of some interviews, but most interviews have both the tape of the interview and a transcript.

Office of the Historian

Publications

The terms of reference for the Office of the Historian included the responsibility to develop and maintain an authoritative record of events . . and maintain a running narrative of them, prepare background papers and ad hoc histories, and select and prepare records for publication. This series contains the files of the publications - whether final or draft, articles or books, published or unpublished - that Office staff or contractors developed. Some files contain only the final publication, while others include background documents and occasional correspondence.

Administrative files

This series reflects a variety of the activities undertaken by the Office of the Historian. The activities file contains lists of oral histories conducted by the project and lists of records the historian had when the office closed. The Paris file reports on records that are in the Bank's Paris office, while the CPP file reports on the master set of Country Program Papers, Country Strategy Papers, and Country Assistance Strategy Papers. A file that relates to the Presidents' papers includes: notes on the contents and a few copies of documents from the Eugene Meyer papers at the Library of Congress; notes, descriptions, and a list of George Woods' papers at Columbia University Library; and series descriptions of McNamara's records in the Bank.

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