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Archive Collection

The archives of the (Imperial) Ottoman Bank constitute the first private collection available for research in Turkey. They represent an alternative source to the State archives for researchers who bend over the end of the century where it pursued its activities. Combining specific information in a neutral and organized fashion, these archives offer new possibilities for the study of political, economic, financial and social history of the period from the end of the Ottoman Empire to the establishment of the new Turkish Republic. The Imperial Ottoman Bank provides a different perspective on the Empire with its activities as state Bank, imperial Bank, bank of issue, commercial and investment bank, organizer of most of the Ottoman loans, Treasurer to the State, bank of deposit for guarantees and mortgages over concessions and limited companies, shareholder in a large number of multinational enterprises active in the Empire, an institution with foreign capital but benefiting from a purely Ottoman legal status, deeply involved with the administration of the Ottoman Public Debt and the Tobacco Monopoly and the institution with the highest level of employment. It is this diversity which provides the major strength of the archives which allow researchers to carry out studies as varied as they are detailed about a world of which many aspects still remain little-known.

The archives in the Ottoman Bank Archives and Research Centre are divided into nine sub-groups:

1. Accounting
2. Legal
3. Management
4. Sundry Documents
5. Issues
6. Real Estate
7. Company Objects
8. Operations
9. Personnel

As mentioned above, archives are also available at the Guildhall Library in London. In France, the archives of the Paris Committee are kept in the Archives d'Entreprises des Archives Nationales at Roubaix.

The access to the London Archives digitalized in the Centre is available through the Catalog.

The most part of the documents, which permit to unveil the economic and social structure of the Turkish society in the course of the XIXth and XXth centuries, are in French and Ottoman Turkish. Their length reaches 300 metres when they are aligned. The oldest document of the archives is the Royal Charter of the Incorporation Ottoman Bank given by Queen Victoria, British Empress.

Here is the inventory of the documents included in the archives:

1.000 volumes of accounting books.
1.000 volumes of minutes and correspondence
10.000 customer files
6.000 customer registers
800 volumes of correspondence belonging to the staff
20.000 files belonging to the staff
3.000 staff photographs
9.000 banknotes

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