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Sources for exchange rates at Guildhall Library


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Sources for exchange rates at Guildhall Library

1.   Key Sources

     Course of the Exchange, 1698-June 1908 (ceased publication) [some gaps
     in the early 18th century]

     Financial Times, 1888 onwards
     [see also Romesh Vaitilingam, The Financial Times Guide to Using the
     Financial Pages, 5th ed., 2006 and A Guide to Financial Times Statistics,
     1984/5 & 1991 eds.]

     Financial Statistics, May 1962 onwards (major currencies against the £) [see
     also Notes & Definitions and Explanatory Handbook which are filed with
     the above]

     Montagu Monthly Review, 1949-84 (spot price against the £ and $)
     [Review of Foreign Exchanges until 1966]

     International Financial Statistics, 20-year file minus current 5 years at the
     City Business Library ($)

     Pick’s Currency Yearbook, 1958-79 ($ + retrospective 10-year record. It
     also includes black market rates). [1985 and 1988-93 eds. issued as
     World Currency Yearbook]

     Extel Financial Foreign Exchange Rates Record, 1991-1999
     FT Interactive Data:

        •   Foreign Exchange Rate Record (£) [City Business Library 10-year file]
        •   Foreign Exchange Rate Record ($) [City Business Library 10-year file]
        •   Foreign Exchange Rate Record (euro) [City Business Library 10-year

2.   General Surveys – Currency and Exchange Rates

     Einzig, Paul, The History of Foreign Exchange, 1962
     [2nd ed., 1970 held in the Barbican Special Collection]

     British Historical Statistics [covers 1609-1980]

     Pick’s All the Monies of the World, 1971 [A-Z of currencies]

            Guildhall Library, Aldermanbury, London EC2V 7HH
            T 020 7332 1868/70 F 020 7600 3384 Textphone 020 7332 3803
            E guildhall.library@cityoflondon.gov.uk
3.   Web Sites

     These are many and varied although most of the sites offering historic data
     tend to cover a retrospective 10-year period. There are also online
     calculators or tables and some sites are fee-based or by subscription only.
     Current Value of Old Money includes a very useful bibliography and links to
     sources for historical exchange rates, www.projects.ex.ac.uk

     Global Financial Data
     What was the exchange rate then? (EH.Net calculator)
     Historical Exchange Rates, based on US Dollars
     Historical Foreign Exchange Rates
     Gold and Silver Standards…, 1815-1914
     Scots Currency Converter (Scots pounds to Sterling from 1600 onwards)
     The Marteau project early 18th-century currency converter (covers a wide
     range of currencies including India and Japan)

4.   Historic Exchange Rates

     12th-15th Century

     Spufford, Peter, Handbook of Medieval Exchange, (Royal Historical Society
     Guides and Handbooks, no. 13)

     17th Century

     Roseveare, Henry, Markets and Merchants of the Late Seventeenth
     Century, (Records of Social and Economic History, new series, 12) [Appendix
     G – exchange rates, 1668-April 1680]

     17th/18th Century

     McCusker, John J, Money and Exchange in Europe and America, 1600-

     18th Century

     Ashton, T S, An Economic History of England [Table XV covers 1700-1800]

     Gentleman’s Magazine, 1740

     Webb, Benjamin, The Complete Negociator…, 1767

     Hayes, Richard, The Negociator’s Magazine, 1777

     Parliamentary Papers 1810-11, vol. X, (146), p.281 [covers 1736-46]
     microfiche [see also vol. X, (43) below]

     18th /19th Century

     Chalmers, Robert, A History of Currency in the British Colonies

Janssen, Leonard H, Parity of Currencies in Postal History, 1700-1875

Kelly, P, The Universal Cambist, 1821

Lloyd’s List, 1740/1-1860, (exchange rates tables were re-introduced from

Parliamentary Papers 1810-11, vol. X, (43), pp.1-30 [covers 3rd Jan 1718-
3rd Dec 1736 and 3rd Jan 1746-1st March 1811] microfiche – pp.197-226

1819, vol. III, (282), Appendix 14, pp.285-311 [covers Jan 1790-Feb 1819]
and (291), Appendix C.1., pp.330-354 [covers Jan 1790-April 1819] hard copy
and on microfiche

Rates of Exchange… 1788-1829 ($ only)

19th Century

Parliamentary Papers

Reports and Returns, vol. 101, (722), Appendix 96, pp.98-109 [covers Jan
1819-June 1832]

1840, vol. IV, (602), Appendix 13, pp.96-103 [covers June 1832-March 1840]

1841 Session 1, vol. V, (410), Appendix 29, p.317 [covers April 1840-Feb

1847-8, vol. VIII, pt. 2, (395/584), Appendix 32, pp.211-17 [covers Jan 1841-
Jan 1848]

The Coins of England, 1862

Banking Almanac, 1877-1915

Bidwell, R L, Currency Conversion Tables: a hundred years of change
[mainly covers WWI to 1969]

Whitaker’s Almanack, 1869 onwards
[headings vary e.g. Foreign monies and their English equivalents/Foreign
exchange rates/Currencies of the world and exchange rates against £ sterling]
20th/21st Century

Twentieth Century British Political Facts, 1900-2000

Diesen, Emil, Exchange Rates of the World…,1914-21

Diesen, Emil, Yearbook of Exchange Rates of the World...,1936

Tate’s Modern Cambist, 1929 and 1931

       Annual Abstract of Statistics, 1935 onwards

       Bankers’ Almanac, 1926/7-1959/60

       Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, December 1960 onwards

General Information

Guildhall Library is a public reference library and its collections are available to the
general public without formality. It is open Monday-Saturday 9.30am to 5pm (except
for Bank Holidays and the Saturday of a Bank Holiday weekend).

Much of the material is not on the open shelves, and has to be ordered from the
bookstores. Readers can use the computer catalogues and ask at the Enquiry Desk
for assistance in locating material, which is then brought to their desks in the
Reading Room approximately 15 minutes later.

Staff are pleased to assist in supplying information and in identifying and interpreting
printed and manuscript sources. This help is available without charge although for
more extensive research we recommend that you use our fee-based service, Focus
Research in the City, (email: focus@cityoflondon.gov.uk) or employ the services of
a professional researcher.

Last updated: March 2010


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