#AskAnArchivist Day started as an initiative of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and has grown to become international. It invites the general public to question archive professionals via Twitter about their work, their collections and the interest of archives. On this occasion, Roger Nougaret, Head of Group Heritage & Historical Archives department invites you to discover the archives through three questions.
#1) What are the historical archives of a bank?
RN: They are all the documentary resources (paper, photos, posters, videos, objects, electronic documents and oral accounts) that make it possible to recount the bank’s history. They are especially interesting for what they say about the bank’s environment, notably for the economic history and international relations because they document the history of the different countries, the financing of certain major projects (bridges, channels, tunnels, metros, railways), the architecture, etc.
#2) Why does a bank keep its archives?
RN: First of all the archives serve as a means of management and proof. A small portion is kept for historical purposes. They make it possible for a Group as old as BNP Paribas (nearly two centuries) to reconstitute the major phases in its development, including its crises. They can also be used to recount the history of innovations, describe the relationships with a major industrial client or recall the length of service in a country, like India, where the Group has been present since 1860.
#3) What do your archives represent in terms of volume?
RN: The paper archives are measured in linear metres: we have 4100 linear metres. We also keep 2091 posters, 1594 videograms and 5024 photos.
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