The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH) was founded in 1990. This association, of which BNP Paribas is one of the founders, brings together historians and archivists of European banks. Its purpose is both to promote banking history and research, and to add value to and preserve banks’ historical archives.
Among other activities, EABH holds an annual conference that includes an archiving workshop and a historical colloquium. This year BNP Paribas and the bank Lombard Odier organised the event, which took place on 22 and 23 June at the offices of BNP Paribas, 14 rue Bergère in Paris, the former historical headquarters of one of BNP Paribas’s founding banks, the Comptoir National d’Escompte de Paris.
The first day was dedicated to a workshop on collecting digital archives. Financial institutions have produced increasingly greater volumes of digital archives, the collection and conservation of which represents a true challenge. Professionals and students were able to discuss and share their experiences.
The historical colloquium held the following day focused on the study of the heritage of the Haute banque, a private family banking model that was at its height in the 1850s; its legacy in terms of people, values and organisation has been a big topic among historians. A round table of bankers and fintechs enabled comparisons to be made between today’s innovations and those of yesterday.