Bretton Woods Conference Collection
1930-1984, predominant 1940-1947
Level of description
- photographic records
26.5 linear feet of textual material
As early as 1952, Fund staff in the Records Division started gathering records in the Fund Archives relating to the establishment of the IMF and IBRD as well as developing a timetable of the events leading up to the Bretton Woods Conference. Presumably, it was during this project that the Records Division would have received records from former members of delegations or staff of the Conference Secretariat, such as those of Edward M. Bernstein, Alice Bourneuf, and Raymond F. Mikesell. As a result, these records were interfiled with the Conference's records (also known as the Bretton Woods Master Files) by subject, leading to the loss of provenance and original order. No attempt was made during the processing those records to reverse the situation. The papers belonging to Richard B. Brenner, Ansel F. Luxford, as well as a second group of records from Edward M. Bernstein were transferred to the Records Division upon their retirement.
Conditions governing access
The textual materials are open without restriction.
Scope and Content
The records relating to the Bretton Woods Conference in the IMF Archives are mainly files of former staff members of the U.S. Treasury or Federal Reserve Board who, as members of the U.S. Delegation at the Bretton Woods Conference or members of the Conference Secretariat, participated in the drafting of the Bretton Woods Agreement and the establishment of the International Monetary Fund. Evident in the Bretton Woods materials is the work, planning, and influence of British economist, John Maynard Keynes, U. S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, and Harry Dexter White, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and Assistant Director of its Monetary Research Division who also served at the Conference as Executive Secretary of the American Delegation. The records cover the time from immediately prior to the Atlantic City Conference in June 1944 and run through the Savannah Conference, held in March 1946. The Collection also documents the efforts in both the United Kingdom and the United States to ratify the Bretton Woods Agreements in the two countries' legislatures, the House of Commons and the United States Congress., The textual records are complemented by a series of images associated with the Bretton Woods Conference such as portraits of Harry Dexter White and Lord Keynes, group portraits of delegates and conference staff as well as pictures of the Mount Washington Hotel. The photographs were collected from several sources since news outlet photographers documented the Conference, as well as official photographers brought in by governments, particularly the United States., The collection has been arranged into five series. The first three are based on the records of individuals present at the Conference: 1) Richard Brenner Files (boxes 1-6), 2) Ansel Luxford Files (boxes 7-25), and 3) Edward Berntein Files (boxes 40-46). The fourth series consists of the files of the Bretton Woods Secretariat: Bretton Woods Conference Files (boxes 26-39, 47-65). The fifth series is images specific to the Conference: Photographs (photo boxes 1-2).