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

Archival Workshop

Digital rebirth of historical datasets

30 Jun 2022 at 10:30am

1504 Sofia, Bulgaria

eabh in cooperation with the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB)

Central banks and other financial institutions have longstanding histories and rich archives. These contain extensive sets of historical information and hence are an extremely valuable source of knowledge about the evolution of financial institutions’ functions and mandates; as much as the trajectory of financial systems and the economic development of countries and regions.

In this workshop we will check up key quantitative historical financial data, historical dataset accessibility and IT tools and innovation.

Registration is open!



All times are Sofia times (EEST)
30 June
Kalin Hristov (Deputy Governor of the Bulgarian National Bank)

Moderators: Carmen Hofmann (eabh), Andreas Kakridis (Bank of Greece)
Hugo Bänziger (Chairman of eabh)

• Before the beginning: Financial information prior to 1878 in the archives preserved in the National Library ‘St. St. Cyril and Methodius’, Sofia, Bulgaria. Problems and perspectives
Hristiyan Atanasov (University of Library Studies and Information Technologies & National Library ‘St. St. Cyril and Methodius’)
11:45Session 1: Making primary sources available in new ways

This session will look at cutting-edge case studies for (online) data provision for research: data collection, digitization, data management and description. Our experts will put emphasis on how to prioritize and find funding for the ‘rebirth’ of historical datasets on design, technologies, and copyright.

• Central banking and economic integration. A new database for Italy, 1850-1936
Marianna Astore (Paris School of Economics), Maria Stella Chiaruttini (University of Vienna) & Federico Barbiellini Amidei (Banca d'Italia)

• The use of Linked Open Data by bank archives: The Intesa Sanpaolo Historical Archives projects
Federica Brambilla (Intesa SanPaolo)

• Historical datasets at the Bank of England and the development of a UK historical data repository
Ryland Thomas (Bank of England)
14:30 Session 2: Setting new standards

This part will look at new tools and AI (artificial intelligence) assisted strategies that have been tested to make larger quantities of historical datasets available to a wider community of researchers, such as: HTR (Handwritten text) technology, automated recognition of document structures, complex historical tables and forms.

• THOTH - Extracting tabular data at scales. New tools and strategies for historical datasets accessibility
Alexis Litvine (University of Cambridge)

• Chasing cash flows: Indexing the Rothschild Archive cash books, 1810-1915
Bernadette Mischka (Regensburg University)

• Creating new digital historical datasets for scientific research with A.I.: A new use of paper historical records at BNP Paribas
Marie Laperdrix (BNP Paribas)
16:00Closing remarks
20:00Dinner at Vivacom Art Hall & Dinner speech by Harold James (Princeton University & eabh)


30 Jun 2022 at 10:30am to 4:30pm


Hyatt Regency Sofia
Vasil Levski Square

1504 Sofia, Bulgaria

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