Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why this site?

Well of History is making a selection of BNP Paribas Group’s historical archives available to the public along with files relating to various themes connected with economic and banking history. The site is published by the Group and is administered by the Heritage & Historical Archives department.
Well of History is intended to help the general public know more about the history of BNP Paribas, its business and, more broadly, economic and financial history. It is also intended to make research by experts easier (i.e., academics/researchers, journalists and students, etc.).

2. What kind of content can I find there?

The site contains several types of content:
- Documents: these are a selection of banking archives per se (documents, publications, photographs, posters and videos)
- Notices drafted by staff members in the BNP Paribas archives and history department regarding events, people, locations and businesses
- Files: illustrated theme files are available to offer an overview of a given subject so as to provide a context for archives. They are produced on the basis of available documentation, interviews and writings by experts.

3. Does the site’s content concern only BNP Paribas Group?

- Yes, as available documentation comes from Group entities and therefore relates directly to their activities…
- … and no, as the history of a banking group is necessarily part of its times. You will also find on the site documents and files that are specific to the Group, but also content concerning our broader history.

4. Are all the archives of the BNP Paribas group available here?

Not all documents can be accessed owing to regulatory requirements. Resources available for viewing will continue to grow as the group’s archives are digitized. You can also send us your historic documents (see question 9).
> Some documents are available only upon request and as part of specific research (see question 7).

5. How do I look for a document?

There are several modes of access to search for a document on the site:

- Timeline
You can select a period and access the “Timeline” section from the home page or in the site’s menu. This section contains all the documents and files for the period in question. You can then interact with the timeline frieze to indicate the specific period of history that interests you. The site automatically updates files and documents according to the selected period on the frieze.

- Geography
You can select a region in the world from the menu and access the “Geography” section in the site. This is where you will find all the files and documents for the region in question. You can then select another region and view the associated contents. The site automatically updates files and documents according to the selected region on the map.

- Key words
You can click on the “Key words” tab in the menu to access a list of terms and expressions concerning the history of the BNP Paribas Group, which are listed alphabetically. Click on a key word to access a selection of files and documents related to it and, where applicable, a memo offering more information on its meaning.

- Advanced search
Enter a term in the search field at the top of the page to access the search results page (which is also the advanced search page) that displays the files and documents matching your request. You can select various sort criteria (content type, period, region, theme) to fine-tune the displayed results.

6. I can’t find what interests me

- Have you tried “advanced search” (see question 5)? Each document and file on the site is tagged by the date, region, theme and content type that concerns it. Use these filters to locate your content.
- If despite everything you fail to locate the content you want, it may be because it is not available on Source d’Histoire. In that case, you can contact the BNP Paribas archives and history department via the contact form, which will do its utmost to help you with your search.

7. I am an academic/researcher and am waiting for specific documents

If you are an academic or researcher and the tools available on Source d’histoire did not ensure access to the content you need, you can contact the archives and history department using the dedicated form ( The team will do its utmost to help you find the content you need.

8. I wish to access additional content

There are several ways to learn more about the subjects addressed in Source d’histoire:

- Each document also includes links to additional content in line with the theme of your research.

- The history of the BNP Paribas Group is also presented on its institutional website, which covers the high points of the group and makes it possible to understand its genealogy. Event-related content is also placed there for anniversaries, exhibitions, etc.

- The BNP Paribas archives and history department is also a partner of Historia magazine ( and the AFHE - Association française d’histoire économique ( Historia and AFHE publications are also indicated on the site when they relate to subjects addressed by Source d’histoire.

9. I have historical documents and I wish to share them.

If you have documents relating to the history of BNP Paribas, feel free to share them with us via our contact form. The archives and history department will consider the feasibility of publishing them on the site (relation to the site’s purpose, authenticity and historic value) and will inform you before posting them on line.

10. I wish to share what I am viewing

Each file and document can be shared on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Linkedin by means of the dedicated buttons on the side of the page.

11. I wish to save what I am viewing

You can add viewed content to your personal space and return to it whilst browsing by clicking on the “My space” button ( If you wish to access the same content next time you visit, you must register with the site and click on the “Save my selection” button in your “My space” section. The process takes only a few seconds.

12. I want to download what I am viewing

To download files and documents, you must register and/or log in using the “My space” button located at the top right of the site on every page (
You will then see when you view a document/file a button below the content’s title image: “Download content”.
> Annual reports and prospectuses can be downloaded without registering and logging in.

13. What are the conditions of use for site contents?

Content available on this site is the exclusive property of BNP Paribas. You are free to view and download content for personal use (subsequent consultation, studies, research, etc.). If you wish to make public use of the site’s content (publish, public release, etc.), please contact the BNP Paribas archives and history department using the site form. The department will review your request and reply as quickly as possible.

14. I would like to be informed of site news (new items, etc.)

If you want to be regularly informed of the site’s latest updates, you can subscribe to the Source d’Histoire newsletter. The subscription link can be found at the bottom of every page and will ask you for a surname, first name and e-mail address. It takes only a few seconds to subscribe.

15. I would like to make a suggestion

If you would like to contribute a suggestion to improving the site, please use the contact form. The archives and history department will take note of your suggestion(s) and take account of them where applicable to update the site.


Contact us / Send us a document

This website has a cultural and historical purpose; it is not intended to deal with trade and banking relationship issues which will not be processed.

If you have a document, a photo, a story about BNP Paribas history and want to share it, please do not hesitate to share it there.

In transmitting this document, you certify to own it and to hold the property rights needed for their use. You authorize BNP Paribas to use it on the website Source of History.

Thank you for indicate the origin of the documents and give us any information you consider relevant to its understanding.


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The personal data collected from the Site are subject to data processing by BNP Paribas to enable access to and use of the functionalities offered by the Site
Pursuant to the French Data Protection Law No. 78-17 of 6 January 1978, you are entitled to access the data collected by BNP Paribas and to have it amended, updated or deleted, where such information is incorrect, incomplete or outdated. You can exercise this right by contacting: BNP Paribas – APAC TDC Val de Marne, TSA 30233- 94729 FONTENAY SOUS BOIS Cedex.


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Fermer Welcome to

Well of History

Since 1822, history has made us a key player and a witness of transformations taking place in society and economy in Europe and around the world. We invite you to share in our story and explore our archives to learn more about our constantly changing world.
Jean Lemierre Jean Lemierre,
of BNP Paribas