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  City Hall Library Notes, January 2011


By Christine Bruzzese

In 1784, Bank of New York became the first commercial bank to operate in New York City. The city's first savings bank was chartered in 1819. This article features some resource on banks and banking that can be found in the City Hall Library Collection.

Alexander Hamilton: A Life by Willard S. Randall, chronicles the life of a founder of the United States, who also helped organize the Bank of New York. Born in the West Indies, Hamilton arrived in New York in 1772, eventually becoming a member of General George Washington's staff and a delegate to the first Continental Congress. He was also a writer of the Federalist Papers and the first Secretary of the Treasury. The book describes Hamilton's life and career, particularly in finance. Hamilton was killed in a duel with rival Aaron Burr in 1804.

New York City Mutual Savings Banks, 1819-1861 by Alan L. Olmstead presents a history of the mutual savings banks operating in New York City from the early nineteenth century to the start of the Civil War. Included are discussion of the administrative functions, socioeconomic levels of bank depositors, how mutual banks played a role in financing development in the United States and development of mutual bank policies and portfolios.

Ranking Banking was first published by the Department of Consumer Affairs. In 1994, the Public Advocate's Office took over. This yearly survey ranks New York City banks by several indicators such as number of branches, account yields, fees and services provided. A summary of findings and discussion of relevant matters are also included. Holdings are from 1990 to 2001.

Be sure to consult the vertical files for clippings and other materials on related topics.

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