WB IBRD/IDA SOMMERS
- 1948 - 1987 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.50 linear feet of textual records; 25 photographs
Name of creator
Davidson Sommers was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1905. He received an undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1926, and later graduated from the Harvard Law School in 1930. After his graduation, Sommers practiced law for the firm of Parker and Garrison in New York City from 1930 to 1937, and later served as the Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York from 1937 to 1939. He additionally practiced law with the firm of Parker and Duryee in New York City from 1939 to 1942.
During World War II, Sommers served in the United States Army Air Forces from 1942 to 1945, and later as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of War from 1945 to 1946.
Sommers joined the World Bank legal department as a lawyer in 1946. He later served as Assistant General Counsel for the World Bank from 1946 to 1949, and then as the General Counsel from 1949 to 1956. He additionally served as General Counsel for the International Finance Corporation from 1956 to 1958, and as the Vice President and General Counsel for the World Bank from 1956 to 1960. In 1960, Sommers retired from the World Bank, but continued to serve as consultant for the World Bank in the 1970s and 1980s.
After the World Bank, Sommers served as Chairman, Senior Vice President, and General Counsel for the Equitable Life Assurance Society from 1960-1982.
Sommers died in Washington, D.C. on December 17, 2001.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Donated to the World Bank Group Archives by Davidson Sommers' estate after Sommers death.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
The files consist of correspondence, speeches, articles, and photographs related to Davidson Sommers' years of employment in the World Bank's Legal Department and his subsequent service as a consultant to the Bank.
Topics covered in the correspondence files include reorganization of the World Bank, procurement review, communications, loan documentation, Bank studies, World Bank president's succession, and improving efficiency in the Bank. Also included are Sommers' copies of the transcripts of two oral history interviews he gave and a copy of the transcript of an oral history interview with John J. McCloy which Sommers and Richard Demuth conducted in 1984. Some speeches and articles presented by Sommers are part of the series, including a description of the Bank and its operations given in Mexico City in 1950, an address entitled Early Days of the Bank given to Bank staff in 1960, and an article commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the Bretton Woods institutions written in 1984 for the Bank/IMF periodical Finance and Development. Photographs included in the series are of a Bank building remodeling in the late 1950s, an Egyptian negotiation in 1959, the World Bank's twentieth anniversary luncheon in 1966, and the Pension Finance Committee in 1985.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Accruals are not expected.
System of arrangement
Records are arranged in one 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
Copyright in the papers is donated to the World Bank and the papers are subject to the World Bank Policy on Copyright.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Physical file unit list is available.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
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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
13 October 2004