The Alpha Bank Historical Archives
The Alpha Bank Historical Archives are among the richest private historical business archives in Europe. They boast invaluable hard-copy documentation spread across 2,000 metres of shelves and nearly 700,000 pages of digitised material. Their main purpose is to preserve the corporate identity and historical memory of the Alpha Bank Group. The Historical Archives partner with institutions in Greece and abroad to organise academic conferences and workshops.
A rich collection
The Alpha Bank Historical Archives are among the most extensive private historical business archives in Europe. At present, they boast edited hard-copy documentation covering 2,000 metres of shelves and nearly 700,000 archived pages of digitised material.
The oldest items of the Archives date from the mid-19th century. They were the property of the banks comprising the Alpha Bank Group and their subsidiaries.
The material, which is categorised into the Historical Archives’ Records and Collections, includes:
- Accounting ledgers.
- Architectural designs and building scale models.
- Audiovisual, advertising and photographic material.
- Devices used in daily banking operations, such as rare cash registers, typewriters etc.
All the items have been decommissioned.
The Historical Archives are constantly expanded to include new categories of records deemed worthy of preservation for administrative, financial, historical, legal or purely practical reasons.
A state-of-the-art storage and processing space
Alpha Bank’s Historical Archives are housed in a purposely-converted facility of 1,400 sq m. This is where the material is processed and items deemed worthy of preservation into the future are selected.
The facilities are equipped with advanced climate control, fire security and fire extinguishing systems to ensure secure storage of the archival material.
Researchers may access the facilities under certain conditions.
Preserving the historical memory of the Alpha Group
The purpose of the Alpha Bank Historical Archives is to preserve the Group’s corporate identity and historical memory. The Archives are responsible for preserving, classifying, storing and expanding the archival collections that belong to Alpha Bank and the Group’s other undertakings.
Access to the collections is allowed for business or research purposes.
Using state-of-the-art technology
The Historical Archives digitise their invaluable material to protect the data against any physical damage or normal wear-and-tear that may result from frequent use.
The digitised material is entered into the Historical and Archival Information Application. This purpose-built software supports archival material classification, indexing and access functions.
The application was designed according to the General International Standard Archival Description approved by the International Council on Archives. This important tool:
- Makes search easier for researchers.
- Allows fast access to the archival material through the directory tree or using keywords.
The Alpha Bank Historical Archives operates according to the Archiving Best Practices and respects privacy.
In this context, it becomes a part of the infrastructure on which Alpha Bank develops its corporate culture.
The Alpha Bank Historical Archives publish literature on the history of the banks and the countries of Southeast Europe, as well as the banks that are the predecessors of present-day Alpha Bank.
The Archives also organise exhibitions on Alpha Bank’s history. This way, the general public gets the chance to see the rare archives and other rich collections up close.
In addition, the Archives forge international partnerships to preserve and showcase the wealth of bank archives – as in the case of Ionian Bank Ltd. This specific partnership:
- Resulted in a detailed catalogue of the archival material, published in the Historical Archives series under the title Papers of the Ionian Bank Limited.
- Ensured public online access to the archives catalogue through the London School of Economics website as well as physical access to the Minutes of the Board of Ionian Bank Ltd. from 1837 to 1914 for research purposes.
- Resulted in Alpha Bank’s partnership with prominent economic historian Philip Cottrell, who was tasked with authoring Τhe Ionian Bank: An Imperial Institution. The publication details the history of Ionian Bank.
Supporting academic work
Since 2001 the Alpha Bank Historical Archives have organised a number of international conferences. The conferences are jointly organised by:
- Universities in Greece and abroad.
- International institutes.
Distinguished academics from Greece and abroad attend as speakers and participants. These events are becoming an institution in the field of social sciences.
The Historical Archives organise long-term seminar series on Greek and international economic and social history, such as:
The seminars are open to the general public. In this context, distinguished and prominent researchers get the opportunity to present original work in progress.
The Alpha Bank Historical Archives were created in 1999. At the beginning, their collections boasted material from the long history of Alpha Credit Bank. Gradually, they incorporated more material as a result of the major mergers with other important Greek banks.
At present, the Historical Archives include items from the history of:
- Ionian Bank Ltd (1839-1957).
- Popular Bank (1905-1957).
- Emporiki Bank (1907-2013).
- J. F. Costopoulos Bank (1916-1918).
- Kalamon Bank (1918-1924).
- Alpha Credit Bank (1924-1999).
- Commercial Bank of the Near East (1950-1960).
- Ionian and Popular Bank (1957-1999).
News and activities of the Historical Archives
2022-2023 Meetings “The History of the Political Changeover”
For the 2nd year running, the Historical Archives are hosting a successful series of lectures on the Political Changeover.
“The 1922 Refugees: A Crucial Component in 20th Century Modern Greek History”
The Alpha Bank Historical Archives and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki are jointly hosting a scientific meeting on “The 1922 Refugees: A Crucial Component in 20th Century Modern Greek History.
“200 Years of Greek Economy: Between State and Market”
The Historical Archives of Alpha Bank and the Bank of Greece hosted an academic meeting, as part of the 2 banks’ contribution to the celebrations for the 200-year anniversary from the Greek War of Independence.
2021-2022 Meetings “The History of the Political Changeover”
The Alpha Bank Historical Archives are launching the Meetings on the History of the Political Changeover, jointly hosted with the Benaki Museum.
Contact the Historical Archives
Address: 11 Sofokleous Street, 105 59 Athens
Phone numbers: 2103262450, 2103262451
Contact person: Professor Konstantinos Kostis, Management consultant