- 1946 - 2003 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
110.53 linear feet of textual records; 60 data CDs; 5 film strips
Name of creator
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Many of the records in this series were transferred directly to the Archives from the Information and Public Affairs Department (IPA) in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Other records in this series were transferred from External Affairs (EXT) units to the Archives using approved records retention and disposition schedules.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
This series contains records relating to the World Bank's publication function while it was located in or reported to the Bank's External Relations unit or its predecessors. The Bank's earliest publication activities occurred in the Public Relations Department from 1947 to 1955; a division dedicated to the publications of Bank-authored materials was established in 1949. With the termination of the Public Relations Department in 1955, the Bank's publishing function was transferred to the new Information Department (INFO). The publication of Bank-authored and Bank-sponsored materials increased rapidly over the subsequent decade. The publishing function was moved to the new Information and Public Affairs Department (IPA) in 1968 where it remained through 1980. In that year it was removed from IPA and upgraded to a separate department called the Publications Department (PUB); it reported to various iterations of the External Affairs Vice Presidency through 1992. In that year, PUB was downgraded to a division, but continued to report to the External Affairs Department.
The Bank's publications function is responsible for the publication of Bank-authored and, in some cases, Bank-sponsored informational materials for a variety of audiences, including: the broader public (speeches, regional and country booklets, press releases, fact sheets, informational pamphlets, educational materials); members and partners (Annual Report, World Development Report, Policies and Operations, various guidelines and handbooks); development practitioners (sector papers, Country Economic Reports, occasional papers); and the academic community (monographs and articles). Its activities have generally involved: selection of Bank-authored materials for publication; editing and design of publications; supervision of the production process; and promotion, marketing and distribution of Bank publications throughout the world.
Records relating to the publication and distribution of Bank-authored and Bank-sponsored materials include correspondencerelating to the various phases of the publication cycle. Correspondence is between the publishing unit and various stakeholders including: authors, relevant Bank units, external publishers and distributors, and members of the public or organizations. Correspondence relates to: submission of manuscripts; editing of manuscripts; translation of manuscript; solicitation of comments on drafts; determining the design aspects of the publications; budgeting matters; and marketing and distribution of publications. Records relating to editorial activities include drafts of manuscripts and page proofs that were published by the Bank; records relating to manuscripts that were reviewed for publication but ultimately not published by the Bank are also included. Records are primarily grouped into folders based on publication title. A small number of folders from the 1970s are titled by activity (budget, translation, etc.) or publication type (sector papers, country economic reports, etc.). Subject files relating to specific publication topics or authors are also included as are chronological files relating to publishing activities of a number of IPA staff: Donald Pryor (1973-9174); Brian J. Svikhart (1974-1976); and Goddard G. Winterbottom (1974-1976).
Records relating to the editorial decision-making and selection process of the Bank's Publication Committee are also included in this series. The Publication Committee was established in 1957 by President Black to develop and review policies and procedures with respect to the preparation, editing, approval and production of Bank publications. However, the committee's proceedings were, at least initially, devoted almost entirely to the consideration of specific proposals for publication submitted by staff including, especially, the Economic Development Institute. In addition to the director of the Information and Public Affairs Department (IPA), the committee members included vice presidents and department heads from throughout the Bank, including operations, EDI, administration, and the economics (or research) department. Records relating to the Publication Committee date from 1957 to 1978 and include meeting agendas and minutes as well as correspondence supporting the work of the committee.
This series also contains a large amount of material published by the Bank and maintained by publishing units as reference. These include: a copy of each World Bank Annual Report published between 1946 and 2003; copies of Annual Meeting Summary Proceedings from 1950 to 1991; and Development News - Daily Summary/Weekly Supplement from 1994 to 1999. A collection of "Finance and Development" is also included. "Finance and Development" was published quarterly by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from June 1964 until June 1998 when the IMF became the sole publisher. English, Spanish, French and German language issues are included. Also included is a reference collection of "World Bank Loans at Work" for the years 1950 through 1967 except for a few missing issues. The publication was created for an external audience and contain photographs and descriptions of a variety of World Bank projects. Published versions of the World Bank Staff Working Papers series published between 1976 and 1986 are also included.
The series also contains a small amount of educational materials authored by the World Bank Group. The materials, which date from 1984 to 1986, were developed for secondary schools with the title "Toward a Better Tomorrow." Records include textual guides and reference materials as well as five film strips.
Records from a bibliographic project undertaken in 1970 are also included. The project aimed to compile a list of all Bank publications from 1946 to 1973. Records related to the bibliography include publication lists containing publication titles, dates, translations, quantities and distribution numbers for each publication. Other supporting material is also included although a final version of the bibliography is not.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Original order of the folders has been maintained.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Records are subject to the World Bank Policy on the Disclosure of 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
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Subject access points
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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
September 19, 2017