The Archive Collections of the BIS


The archives of the BIS enjoy special protection under the Bank's Headquarters Agreement (art. 3, 2). In the interest of openness and academic research, the Bank voluntarily decided to open its historical archive to the public in March 1998. Under the BIS open archive rules, all records relating to the Bank's business and operational activities which are over 30 years old are available for consultation, with the exception of a limited number of records that remain private or confidential even after 30 years have elapsed. It is within the BIS's discretion to determine which records will not be released for public consultation. Any such decision will normally be based on the protection of personal privacy and of legitimate third party interests. All files open for consultation are listed in the BIS Archive catalogue.


The records are paper based, with a selection of records relating to the Bank's activities during the period 1930-48 also available as scanned versions. In addition, the BIS archive possesses a small photo collection.

The records of the BIS are organized in seven record groups, largely reflecting the BIS' organizational structure:

  1. Organization and Management of the BIS
  2. Banking
  3. Monetary and Economic Department
  4. Accounting and Loans
  5. Establishment - Building, Security, HR policies, IT Systems etc. (This record group is not open to the public)
  6. Finance and Economics
  7. History

The record groups consist largely of various types of correspondence, internal communication and reports. Important collections include files on:

Detailed information on the BIS archive collections that have been released for consultation by external researchers can be found in the BIS Archive Guide.