The most recent additions to the archive are records kept by the Italian Consulate in Istanbul documenting the Italian presence in the late Ottoman Empire. Although a large part of this archival material relates to the period between 1870 and 1900, the collection more specifically covers the years from 1847 to 1925. The Italian consular records making up the archival material shed light on the leading Italian associations of the time, the activities of Italian institutions such as hospitals and schools, and the trade correspondence maintained between foreign companies both within the Empire and abroad. In other words, this source offers a good description of the Italian community in Istanbul during the second half of the 19th century.
Another important archive that has been digitalized and added to the Centre’s collection is that of the Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Galata. The archives of this institution go all the way back to the 18th century and document the Latin community in Galata as well as the transformation of this area over a time span of more than two centuries. In some respects, this source, which consists of official documents issued by civil authorities and various papers regarding the Dominican presence in Istanbul, may be considered complementary to the Italian Consular Archives. The first catalog, prepared by Fr. Benedetto Palazzo in 1939 and published in Italian in 2002, has been examined, itemized, translated, and finally the documents have been converted into digital format. The original papers are preserved in the Church Archive.
Another major collection that the Ottoman Bank Archives and Research Centre has incorporated in its archive consists of the documents in Turkey belonging to the World Council of Churches based in Geneva. These archives cover the period from 1950 to 1980 and comprise 472 folders dealing with the ecumenical assistance provided to refugees arriving in Turkey. They have been catalogued under three separate headings: “refugees,” “personnel,” and “correspondence.”
A few documents dating back to an earlier period concern the assistance given by the Union of Evangelical Congregational Churches in Bulgaria and the United Church Board for World Ministries in the US.
As 2008 marked the centenary of the birth of Sedad Hakki Eldem, probably the most important name in 20th century Turkish architecture, the Ottoman Bank Museum honored him with two exhibitions and their accompanying catalogs.
The exhibition “Sedad Hakki Eldem (1908-1988) I Early Years” focused on the first 23 years of the architect’s life until his first built work in 1931. The second exhibition, “Sedad Hakki Eldem II: Retrospective” highlighted the transformation of an aspiring architect from an elitist late Ottoman background into an early Republican intellectual and a key exponent of the nationalist discourse in architecture. Along with the items used in these two exhibitions, the Ottoman Bank Archives and Research Center is making available to researchers other Sedad Hakki Eldem materials kept in the Rahmi M. Koç Archive.