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How to use the Digitised Collections

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What has been digitised so far?

Only a small portion of The Baring Archive is accessible online.

This includes:

An overview of the archive is available on the Baring Archive website.

It is highly recommended that in order to locate specific material and to understand its context you consult the Baring Archive’s online catalogues and make a note of the relevant reference numbers. The search box on this site is limited so although it may be used, it is unlikely to give you a complete picture.

Searching and browsing the digitised collection

The search currently available on the site is limited so we recommend that you first consult the Baring Archive’s online catalogues and make a note of the reference numbers of the documents you would like to view.

If you aren’t sure what you want to see, you can browse the online collection by clicking the button at the top left of the screen. You can also have a look at some of our items of interest.

Reference Numbers

Digitised items often have a handwritten number on them, usually in the top right-hand corner. This is the reference number for that individual document and should be cited in academic references.

  • The main document number is likely to look something like this, HC In this case: HC 4 refers to House Correspondence from Spain and Spanish and Portuguese Latin America; HC4.1 is specifically from Argentina; 65 is the box number; and 32 is the item number within the box.
  • Sometimes there will be an additional circled number on the end. This is the “parts number”, which indicates if documents have parts that are or could become separated in the future. They do not need to be used in academic references.
  • Not every image will have a reference number written on it, as there is only one reference number per “piece”. For example a letter that is folded into four separate pages will be four separate images. The reference number will only be on the first page of the letter.
  • Most documents are in chronological order. Documents with enclosures have been catalogued as one item. This means that there may be additional pieces in an item that are from an earlier date.

All efforts have been made to determine copyright of original documents.

The images are free to use for personal use or academic publications. As a condition of usage, please ensure the image is properly credited and that the full item reference is included in the format below.

The Baring Archive, [Description of Item], [Date of Item] (Reference number)

Eg. The Baring Archive, Correspondence from Norberto de la Riestra to Barings, 25 September 1876 (HC

The download function on the website only allows you to download one file at a time. If you’d like to download multiple files please contact us.

If you are unsure whether you can use an image or if you would like a higher resolution version of the image please contact us giving us as much information as possible.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

  • Try using a less specific search term. For example try Bowden rather than Arthur Bowden Smith.
  • Try using slightly different terms, for example, Argentina rather than Buenos Aires.
  • Could what you are searching have changed names over time? For example, Barings itself began as John & Francis Baring & Co, moving on to Baring Brothers & Co and finally Baring Brothers Limited.
  • Search for individuals as well as companies. For example, C H Sanford worked for Samuel B Hale & Co and his correspondence is catalogued under his own name rather than the company name.
  • What you are looking for may not be digitised. Have a look at our collection descriptions on the website and contact us about visiting the archive.
  • Items are catalogued to a variety of levels (series, file, item) so sometimes although your search term may appear in a document it may not feature in the catalogue description.
  • If you transcribe or translate material as part of your research, we would love to have a copy so we can include it in the catalogue to continue to improve the search facility.
  • If you find anything that you think has been catalogued incorrectly, please contact us.
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