Our access and reading room regulations

Our archives are unique and irreplaceable. To ensure that they are protected and preserved for future users, we have a number of access and reading room regulations.

Access regulations

Our archives are privately held records, and access to them is at the discretion of the bank. Access will only be given when it does not compromise the bank's duties of confidentiality. It will rarely be granted for customer or staff records under 100 years old, or for internal administrative records under 30 years old.

  • Access to our archives or to any particular records is at the absolute discretion of the bank. The inclusion of details of records on this site does not imply that access will be granted.
  • Access is by appointment only.
  • Readers must complete an application form supplying full details of the project or thesis for which access is required. Only information which is pertinent to that research may be extracted or otherwise conveyed to a third party.
  • Readers must provide proof of identity and references if required by the bank.
  • Readers agree to observe any regulations relating to the handling of documents. Any infringement renders the reader liable to exclusion from the archives.
  • The reader must submit to the bank a draft of any text which they propose to publish which cites or uses the bank's archives. The bank must be advised of the date, place and manner of intended publication.
  • If publication is approved, the reader must ensure that any acknowledgement requested by the bank is included.
  • Completion of an application form binds the reader to abide by all the bank's regulations for access to the archives.

Reading room regulations

  • Certain classes of documents are closed to readers for a fixed period of years or are unfit for production. The bank retains the right to deny access to any document without specifying the reason.
  • Readers may not eat, smoke or drink inside the reading room. 
  • Pens or coloured pencils may not be used.
  • Personal electronic devices may be used, provided their use does not disturb others, and on the understanding that the bank is not liable for any damage to or loss of personal property.
  • The greatest care must be taken in handling documents. Readers must not mark, tear, crease or lean on documents. Any accidental damage to a document must be reported at once.
  • Archival documents may not be removed from the reading room.
  • Photography may be permitted in the searchroom if approved and supervised by an archivist. The use of flash photography or scanners is not allowed. Photographs must be used for non-commercial research or private study only and may not be reproduced or published without prior permission.
  • Documents may be photocopied only at the discretion of the duty archivist. They will be supplied for non-commercial research or private study only and may not be reproduced or published without prior permission.