Just Before Bretton Woods: book and archival documents

Last year the CFS published a book by me and Gabrielle Canning called Just Before Bretton Woods: The Atlantic City Conference, June 1944. The book is the only detailed treatment of the small, secretive conference held immediately preceding Bretton Woods to hammer out the draft agreements for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The Bretton Woods conference worked from the drafts to produce the final agreements establishing the two organizations. As at Bretton Woods, the leading figures at Atlantic City were John Maynard Keynes of the British delegation and Harry Dexter White of the American delegation.

We have now finally organized the background material we gathered for the book. We photographed thousands of pages of documents in the U.S. National Archives and the UK National Archives. They include not only conference material published in the book, but correspondence within and between the U.S. and British governments, which provide a detailed picture of how matters unfolded in the lead-up to the conference. We have also provided a detailed guide to the files. Our efforts should help any future researchers who want to cover some of the same ground to get a flying start, saving many hours of searching for materials.

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About Kurt Schuler

Kurt Schuler, co-editor of The Bretton Woods Transcripts, is Senior Fellow of Financial History at the Center for Financial Stability and an economist in the Office of International Affairs at the United States Department of the Treasury.