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Baring Archive

Page history last edited by Paul Keenan 13 years, 1 month ago

Date of tip: December 2007

Source: Edward Packard (e.packard@lse.ac.uk) 


Location: ING, 60 London Wall, London, EC2M 5TQ


How to get there: The nearest tube stations are Moorgate and Liverpool Street, the ING building is relatively easy to find once on London Wall: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=532827&y=181472&z=0&sv=ec2m+5tq&


Link to archive: The Baring Archive does not have a website. It is best to direct enquiries to Moira Lovegrove (baring.archive@uk.ing.com).


Language: English


Getting started: Barings bank, following its notorious collapse, is now owned by ING, and the Baring archive is housed within ING’s 60 London Wall offices. You must contact the archive beforehand: do provide as full a description of the kind of material you are looking for as possible. If the archivist thinks the archive could be of use to you, you will be asked to return a conditions of access form (which the archivist will email to you) together with a letter of introduction from your supervisor (if you are a PhD student). All of this needs to be completed before you visit – the archive can only accommodate one reader at a time so be prepared to book well ahead. You do not need ID to get into the ING building, though you do have to get a visitor pass from the security desk (you tell security what you’re doing there, then they give you a pass and telephone the archivist). You then wait in the lobby for the archivist to collect you.


Opening Hours: The archive is open for 3 days in any week, from 10:00 to 17:00.


General working conditions: The reading room is a small office and you are supervised throughout by a member of staff. You have to leave bags and coats on a chair in the corridor outside. There is a small room down the corridor for water (there is also a tea/coffee machine, but I couldn’t figure it out). There is no internet access. The reading room has a fairly comprehensive selection of books on banking. The room is well-lit, but there is no natural light.


Consultation: The catalogue is on a computer in the reading room, and is operated by the supervisor: you ask them what you would like to see, they type it into the catalogue. They then go and fetch the documents. You can see one file at a time.  


Policy on technology: Laptops are allowed, as are digital cameras (you have to fill out a form and you are not allowed to photograph complete files – just a few ‘key’ photographs for personal use. I took 325 pictures from around 10 files over the course of two days with no complaints). 


Particularities: I find it can be a bit of a hassle to sign out and then sign back in after lunch, so I ate a big breakfast beforehand and then worked solidly for 7 hours. There was a fire alarm on my second visit, so I explored the local area a little: as the archive is in the City of London, it is well served for food and drink on every possible price level. London Wall is well-stocked with the usual coffee shops (Cost, Starbucks etc.) and sandwich shops (Pret, Eat etc.) If you take a packed lunch, there is a small park opposite the building.

Though the reading room can be a little claustrophobic, this is more than compensated for by the fact you will be the only person working at the archive on the day, and therefore the service is extremely efficient.


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