The International Thrift Institute (ISBI) was created during the interwar period in Milan in 1924 and operated continuously until it was closed down in Geneva in 1994. The current World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI), the legal successor of the 'International Thrift Institute' (ISBI), came to join the European Savings and Retail Banking Group (ESBG) in Brussels. The "Joint Office" of the European Savings and Retail Banking Group and World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI-ESBG Joint Office) has inherited the extensive and valuable archives of the former ISBI and housed it in its Brussels premises. The transfer of the ISBI archives to Brussels, however, did not happen in the most favourable of conditions.
During the transfer in 1994 from Geneva, no inventory nor transfer list was made of the archives. Also, because of lack of space in the premises of the WSBI-ESBG Joint Office in Brussels, the archives were spread across 10 cellars, partly in moving boxes and partly in racks. Because of the impending move in 1998 to other premises within Brussels, the issue of the archives urgently needed to be addressed in order to organise a smooth transfer and in order not to lose any more valuable material. The ESBG-WSBI Joint Office acknowledge that the archives of the ISBI are an important resource for historical research and therefore decided to recruit a professional archivist to carry out a thorough cleaning and to make a professional inventory of the archives.
The present archives are the result of this crucial work for the international history of savings and savings banks. A thorough analysis of the institute may shed new light on all aspects of savings. Overall, the institute's archives can be a rich source for international, national, regional studies from various angles, including social, economic, institutional, political and cultural.
The archives of the International Savings Banks Institute can be consulted for academic research upon a formal request to the WSBI-ESBG Managing Director, Mr. Chris De Noose. For any further Information on the historical archives of the institute, please contact WSBI-ESBG's archivist, Ms Nancy Lockkamper.
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