Closed for Business: The Story of Bankers Trust Company during the Great Depression


HSP has launched a digital history project focused on the early years of the Great Depression and the December 1930 failure of a large Philadelphia bank, Bankers Trust Company.

Click here to visit "Closed for Business"

The site includes:

  • 320 digitized primary source documents, including documents about the bank's operation, letters from depositors desperate to get access to their funds after the bank's failure, and newspaper clippings about the aftermath of the bank's failure;
  • biographies of some of the people and organizations highlighted in the documents;
  • contextual essays about the history of Bankers Trust Company, the Great Depression in Philadelphia, and the 1930s banking crisis in Philadelphia; and
  • an educators page with ideas about how to use the resource in the classroom.

This project was part of a larger effort funded by the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation to draw attention to HSP's 20th-century collections.

You can learn more about the process of creating the site by reading our posts on HSP's blog, "Fondly, Pennsylvania."