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School of History

Borromei Bank Research Website - Launch Event

When: Tuesday, September 26, 2023, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where: Montagu Lecture Theatre, Graduate Centre (GC601) 335 Mile End Road London E14FQ, Mile End

We are delighted to invite you the launch of the QM History website of the Borromei Bank Project, a landmark event in the study of medieval banking and of European monetary history. It is the culmination of two decades of ESRC-funded collaboration between our own Professor Jim Bolton and Professor Francesco Guidi-Bruscoli of the University of Florence & Visiting Reader at QMUL, and will be a major resource for economic and social historians of late medieval Europe. 


The website provides access to two fifteenth-century ledgers of the Bruges bank and London branch of the Borromei banking family, found in the family private archive of within their palazzo on Isola Bella near Milan. These ledgers contain detailed evidence for fully developed double-entry bookkeeping, with records for seven hundred accountholders, great and small, Italian, Iberian, Flemish, Dutch and English, and further hundreds of customers who took part in transactions with the banks.


The database consists of over 23,000 entries translated from the original Italian and then converted to electronic database versions. The database can be searched by accountholders or by free text and gives us unprecedented view of the transformative power of the credit revolution in England and northern Europe, as well as intimate snippets of everyday life, from barber receipts to prices of soap. The website is already up and running and can be accessed here (


The launch will celebrate this freely accessible database, which represents a key moment for Digital Humanities in the School, and a template for future projects. It also will celebrate the achievement of Francesco and Jim, leading authorities on money in medieval Europe.

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