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Introduction

The Special Libraries Association's Business and Finance Divi­ sion celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary this year. Its antecedents date back almost sixty years to the formation of SLA's Financial Group in 1924 and fifty years when the Business Group was estab­ lished. The two groups merged in 1958 to become the largest group of librarians within SLA. Their libraries and information centers re­ flect the entire range of business activity in the United States and Canada. Many of the collections are relatively small, and most are geared to providing current information to their managements. Nonetheless; there are a number of libraries and information centers that have collections in depth, and can provide access to the histo­ rian and scholar doing research in some aspect of business . In this issue of Special Collections is a sampling of the variety of such col­ lections in the field of banking and finance. Commercial banking is represented by Jeannette Privat, Jane Dy­

sart and Joan Gervino. Ms. Privat's paper traces the growth of li­ braries in financial institutions in the United States. She describes the basic collection and the types of services found in a typical bank library. The banking system in Canada is quite different from that in the

United States. There are only eleven chartered banks in the entire country compared with the hundreds of commercial banks there may be in each of the United States. Jane Dysart points out this dif­ ference and how this affects the type of library service in Canadian bank and financial libraries. Of the eleven bank-related associations with libraries, the oldest

is the library and information service of the American Bankers As­ sociation. Founded in New York in 1907 and located in Washington since 1971, it offers its members access to a large collection of pub­ lished material described by Joan Gervino. The United States is unique among nations in having a central

banking system rather then one central bank. The Federal Reserve

System consists of a policy making body, the Board of Governors, that is appointed by the President and located in Washington; and the twelve Federal Reserve Banks located in districts throughout the country, which carry out the policy and regulatory functions. Each of the thirteen bodies has a library, and together the' 'Fed" libraries form a network of considerable resource in banking, monetary policy and international finance. Ann Clary, chief librarian of the "Board" gives an overview of Federal Reserve history and the col­ lections in the System's libraries. Washington is the home also of the other banking regulatory agencies: the Comptroller of the Cur­ rency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. In addition, there is the u.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. All these agencies have extensive libraries making Washington a rich source of information on all aspects of U.S. banking and finance. In international finance the Joint Bank-Fund Library of the Inter­

national Monetary Fund and the World Bank, described by Michael Rahill, performs a unique function to those organizations. Among the libraries and information centers in the financial houses

in the Wall Street area, certainly Standard & Poor's stands out as probably the oldest and largest. Its collection and reference services have been a support to the financial community for generations as Dennis Jensen explains in his paper on the history, collection, and resources of S&P's research library. Most college and university libraries now have special business

and economics libraries. The Lippincott Library of the Wharton School places a larger emphasis on banking and finance than most academic libraries. The library has a long and distinguished history as shown by Martha Lightwood. As Harold Anderson explains, banks are a mine of archival infor­

mation, but few have formally organized archives. The Wells Fargo Corporation, Bank of America, and Chase Manhattan Bank are among those whose archives are established as such. In his paper Anderson traces the story of the Wells Fargo Corporate Archives, and shows how important such archives can be. There are undoubtedly collections in banking and finance that

should have been included in this issue. A number of public librar­ ies, especially the New York Public Library's Economics Division and the Brooklyn Public Library's Business Branch, have excellent collections in business literature including banking and finance. A full coverage of all resources could not be attempted, but we trust