Conservation Begins on Bank of North America Records
During the next three years, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania will conserve the records of the Bank of North America, our nation’s first bank. This preservation project is supported by a grant from Wells Fargo, which traces its lineage back to this important institution proposed by Robert Morris and Alexander Hamilton and chartered by the Second Continental Congress in 1781.
The records date from the bank’s founding until its merger with the Commercial Trust Company in 1923 and include more than 650 volumes as well as photographs, correspondence, minute books, and financial records. It provides unique and invaluable documentation related to the Revolutionary War, the early Republic, and the origins and development of the banking system in the United States. The collection also significantly documents the careers of important early financiers including Thomas Willing and John Nixon and records Philadelphia's role as a major commercial and industrial center in the later decades.
HSP’s conservation team has begun work to re-bind books, mend tears, remove mold, clean documents, and re-house the collection in acid-free folders and boxes. The repairs will ensure that generations of researchers and scholars will have access to the records for years to come. The Historical Society is grateful to Wells Fargo for their ongoing dedication to historical preservation and education.