In 1989 the World Bank commissioned the Brookings Institution to prepare a history of the Bank as part of the commemoration of the Bank's fiftieth anniversary. Originally planned for publication in 1994, the two volume work, The World Bank: Its First Half Century, was published in 1997. When the Office of the Historian was established at the beginning of 1993, the task of liaison between the Bank and Brookings and the authors fell to the Historian. This series documents the evolving relationship between the Bank and the Brookings Institution's World Bank History Project, both before and after the establishment of the Historian's Office.
The first subseries, the chronological General Files, shows the genesis of the idea for a history (including copies of documents on the Bank's history dating back to December 1967), the funding of the project, and the administration of the relationship between the Bank and the Brookings Institution. Files contain a transcript of the meeting of the project advisory committee in 1993.
An Internal Review Group was established by the Bank in 1993 to read and comment on each chapter produced by the project. The Office of the Historian served as secretary for the group, both sending out chapters for review and transmitting the group members' comments to the project. The second subseries is the correspondence of the historian with the group and with the project.
The Office of the Historian conducted its own oral history program at the same time as the World Bank History Project wasinterviewing people for the fiftieth anniversary volumes. Each program provided some copies of interviews to the other, and the third sub-series contains a file about the interviews, including lists of persons interviewed by the project, and duplicate copies of rough transcripts of some project interviews, including those with World Bank Group presidents A.W. Clausen, Barber B. Conable, and Lewis T. Preston.
The fourth subseries is the draft of the history, arranged by volume and thereunder by chapter. Nocopy exists for chapter 8 of volume II. The copies are not annotated.