The Federal Reserve System has just announced plans to offer comprehensive, single-point access to its inventory of historical materials, a valuable resource for researchers, academics, and anyone interested in the chronicle of the nation’s central bank. The inventory will be the first of several initiatives surrounding the Federal Reserve’s double-centennial, with hundred-year anniversaries of the signing of the Federal Reserve Act and the opening of the Federal Reserve Banks in December 2013 and November 2014.
Overseeing the Federal Reserve’s centennial initiatives is the Centennial Advisory Council, comprised of 24 members from the public and private sectors. Working in conjunction with a planning committee chaired by Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, the Centennial Advisory Council will keep the budget for celebration and substantive work on-balance and conduct further educational outreach. Council for Economic Education’s CEO and President Nan J. Morrison has been appointed as a member alongside honorary co-chairs Paul A. Volcker and Alan Greenspan.
The Federal Reserve inventory will identify materials that are currently available from a variety of sources, including the websites of the Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors, the Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research, websites housed at universities, and private collections. It will also include information about material that is not yet available online but is currently being considered for digitization and posting. With improved web access to its texts, photographs, video and audio recordings, the Federal Reserve will enhance transparency, putting its archival records directly in the hands of the public.
As part of its efforts to expand the inventory, the Federal Reserve invites historians, scholars, and all interested members of the public to submit historical sources for inclusion that aren’t listed. The inventory and additional information about the Centennial are available at any of Federal Reserve Bank’s state websites and the official site of the Board of Governors.