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The European Association for Banking and Financial History (eabh) e.V.

Archival Workshop

Banks build

A close look at financial institutions’ ‘building’ roles

29 Jun 2023 at 9:50am

Frankfurt am Main, Germany

A financial archives workshop organised by eabh

sponsored by Deutsche Bank AG

In this workshop, we are looking for collections, databases and archival projects that shed light on the link of financial institutions as builders.

In history, financial institutions have always played major, often pioneering roles when new countries were built, independence was established, or peacetime re-building started. They initiated state and infrastructure building by helping other companies (re-)start their businesses in new legislations or after disruptive periods.

In the framework of this meeting, we would like to look at archival evidence in and about financial institutions’ ‘building’ roles. The connections between banking and building, finance, cities, and countries may be wide range – and unexpected. The examples of historical experiences are global and manifold: the building of US infrastructure after independence (railways), specialising US financial infrastructure in the process, re-building Europe after WWI, after WWII and during the Eastern extension of the EU, nation building in Central and South America, African independence, …, to name just a few…

The evolution of a country or economy is always reflected in the records banks, exchanges and insurers hold: if you look at what’s traded and insured and how successfully, you can see the state an economy is in. More and beyond, finance plays a major role in building cities and infrastructure during ‘normal’ times; the sector’s importance for architecture, urban planning and building of all kinds is undenied.


29 June 09.30 Coffee for arriving audience

09.50 Greetings
Melanie Aspey, The Rothschild Archive & Treasurer of eabh
Martin L. Müller, Head of the Historical Institute, Deutsche Bank AG

10.00 Session 1
Post War European reconstruction

The Historical Archives of the European Investment Bank
Dieter Schlenker, Historical Archives of the European Union

Piraeus Bank Marshall Plan archives: Documenting the impact of the European Recovery Program in West Attica
Konstantina Konstantopoulou & Dimitrios Ramantanoglou, Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation

Moderator: Martin L. Müller, Head of the Historical Institute, Deutsche Bank AG

10.45 Coffee

11.00 Session 2
19th century: New nations

The National Bank of San Carlos: Promoter, builder and financier of public works. The Guadarrama Canal and El Gasco Dam
Elena Serrano, Banco de España

The Bank of Sicily 1843 -1867: Foundation, transformation and consolidation of a bank and pillar of the economy of Southern Italy
Alex Cooper, Leicester University

Moderator: Niels Viggo Haueter, Head of Corporate History, Swiss Re

11.45 Lunch

12.45 Session 3
20th century: Financing infrastructure

Railways, subways, electricity supply and urban development - Deutsche Bank’s infrastructure investments before World War I
Martin L. Müller, Deutsche Bank AG

Innovation and investments at the BGK archives
Radosław Milcarski, Bank Gospodarstwa Krjowego (BGK)

‘White Anthrax’: An overview of archival and research sources on the development of hydroelectric energy production in Greece from the National Bank of Greece Historical Archive
Chrysalena Antonopoulou, National Bank of Greece

The Istituto bancario San Paolo di Torino and public interest. The stories behind the figures
Maria Stella Circosta, Fondazione 1563

Moderator: Andreas Kakridis, Scientific Advisor to the Historical Archive, Bank of Greece

14.15 Coffee

14.30 Session 4
Transforming regions

Banks as an instrument for handling structural change processes:
Aachen’s transformation from a mining location to a city for technology innovation
Christoph Speitkamp, University of Aachen

Territorial expansion & bank building: The role of central and private issuance in colonialism
Gustav Peebles, The NEW School, New York

Moderator: April Miller, Manager, World Bank Group Archives and Records

15.15 Closing remarks
April Miller, World Bank Group Archives and Records

15.30 End of workshop

19.30 Dinner
Margarete, Braubachstraße 18-22


29 Jun 2023 at 9:50am to 3:30pm


Deutsche Bank AG
Taunusanlage 12
60325 Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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