Welcome to the World Bank Group Archives Oral History website.

The interviews recorded by the World Bank Group Archives’ Oral History Program present a powerful picture of the World Bank Group from its post-Bretton Woods beginnings to the present day. Its history, its evolution, and its staff are all vividly portrayed in these transcripts. The program, which began in 1961, was restarted in 1981, and has continued from 1990 to the present day, in four distinct phases. These Bank oral history interviews are supplemented by interviews conducted for three separate projects: a history of Bank President George Woods; the 50th anniversary history of the Bank; and a history of the Staff Association. Some persons were interviewed for more than one project.

These interview transcripts serve as learning and knowledge tools for Bank staff, its partners, clients and researchers who are interested in learning more about the Bank’s development practices and policies.

We invite you to explore our site.


About the interview transcripts

The majority of the oral histories begin with a discussion of the background of the person being interviewed, examine the reason for joining or interacting with the World Bank, explore his or her career, and conclude with an assessment of the World Bank Group and reflections on its presidents and other influential staff members.   Some interviews depart from this template, opting for a less chronological account of the person’s career at the Bank or focusing only on a specific topic.


Citing an Oral History from the WBG Archives’ Oral History Program

Transcript example

Please use the following example:

Transcript, Oral History Interview with Yoshiaki Abe held on March 16 and 17, 2005, by Marie T. Zenni, page 26, World Bank Group Archives. Online:  [Insert Link ]


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