PNC Plans Donation of Riggs Bank Historical Records to George Washington University
- Gift Represents Significant Portion of Overall Archival Collection Focusing on History of Riggs and Washington, D.C. -
Oct 5, 2006
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC) today announced that it plans to donate a significant portion of the historical bank records of Riggs National Bank and its predecessor institutions to The George Washington University Gelman Library. Appraised at $5.2 million, it is the largest single gift in the Library's history. To aid in the transfer, preparation and installation of the collection, which includes thousands of records from the early 1800s to the 1940s, The PNC Foundation also plans to make a financial gift of $125,000.
"The research potential provided by these records will be invaluable to any historian interested in Washington, D.C.'s commercial history," said PNC Bank Regional President Michael N. Harreld. "We are delighted to complement the Gelman Library's rich Washingtoniana Collection and are confident that GW has the expertise to protect and preserve these extraordinary Washington treasures for generations of scholars to access."
"There are few institutions in this great city that have influenced the development of the District of Columbia as much as Riggs Bank," said GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. "The George Washington University shares this long legacy in, and commitment to Washington, D.C. This generous gift of the Riggs archives by PNC will ensure that these significant historical records will be 'in and of' Washington for future generations."
Riggs was best known for having been the bank to 23 U.S. Presidents, from John Tyler to Abraham Lincoln to Harry Truman. It financed the purchase of Alaska, the Mexican War, Robert Peary's first North Pole expedition, and the completion of the U.S. Capitol Dome. And it counted amongst its customer base a long list of cultural icons, from Francis Scott Key to Susan B. Anthony to Clara Barton.
Since its acquisition of Riggs in May 2005, PNC has undertaken a thorough inventory of the bank's archival materials to better understand their significance and future potential. The collection contains records beginning with original letters and documents from the late 1700s and extending in scope for over 200 years, with emphasis on relationships with the White House, federal government, business and other banks.
"The bank records being donated will provide scholars with significant historical information about Riggs and the day-to-day business of the Washington community," said Harreld. "Checks written by Abraham Lincoln and other artifacts in the collection that have much broader national appeal will remain with PNC. We are currently considering how we might make those available for the public to experience."
Approximately 1,250 ledgers of Riggs National Bank and its predecessor institutions - Washington Loan & Trust, Lincoln National Bank, Farmers and Mechanics, and National Bank of Washington - are planned to be included in the gift to GW. The ledgers, which each weigh approximately 40 pounds, contain the account records of the 19th Century U.S. Presidents who banked with Riggs, including John Tyler, James Polk, Millard Fillmore, Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield and William McKinley, as well as the banking transactions of many other notables in American history.
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (www.pnc.com) is one of the nation's largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management; asset management and global fund services.
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SOURCE: The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
CONTACT: Sonia McCormick of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.,
+1-202-835-5486, or email@example.com
Web site: http://www.pnc.com/
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