The origins and growth of Barclays are similar in many ways to those of Martins Bank. Whereas Martins tends to dominate the North of England, Barclays’ heartland is the South, the South East and East Anglia, with for example the business acumen of the Norfolk Quakers and a large network of smaller local banks being acquired or merging down the years, all contributing towards the World Class Bank we see today. Barclays Group Archives is an amazing source of information that is not simply about banking, but which can help researchers to unlock the past and show us how we used to live. Whether you want to find out more about Messrs Gillett and Company of Banbury and Oxford, how the Lynn Bank was a major player in the local finances around the Wash and the Fens, or how outposts in the north such as the Swaledale and Wensleydale Banking Company came to be part of the Bank, Barclays Group Archives has a wealth of images, artefacts and records going back hundreds of years. The Group Archives website now allows visitors to view and download images and information for their own private use, and includes an extensive collection of Martins Bank Branch Photographs. You can visit the site, which will open in a new window, by clicking on the image above (right).