A Digital Collection of the History of the IMF


Last updated on August 15, 2022

This collection of publications and documents from the International Monetary Fund provides insight into its history. The links include the full collection of the IMF’s official histories, which were each authored and curated by the IMF’s Historian at the time—J. Keith Horsefield (1963-67), Margaret de Vries (1973-87), and James Boughton (1992-2000; 2004-12)—as well as other works that have recorded the IMF’s history for 70 years.

Introductory video on the founding of the IMF:

The IMF and the Force of History: Events and Ideas That Have Shaped the Global Institution







Confronting Crisis – Global Cooperation and the International Monetary Fund







Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund







The International Monetary Fund, 1945–1965: Twenty Years of International Monetary Cooperation, Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3

American in the Shadows:Harry Dexter White and the Design of the International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund, 1966-1971: The System Under Stress, Volume 1, Volume 2

The IMF in a Changing World, 1945-1985

The International Monetary Fund, 1972-1978: Cooperation on Trial,  Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3

Fifty Years After Bretton Woods: The Future of the IMF and the World Bank

Silent Revolution: The International Monetary Fund, 1979-1989

Dollars, Debt, and Deficits—60 Years After Bretton Woods

From Great Depression to Great Recession: The Elusive Quest for International Policy Cooperation

Tearing Down Walls:The International Monetary Fund, 1990-1999

International Monetary Cooperation Since Bretton Woods

The IMF and the Force of History: Ten Events and Ten Ideas that Have Shaped the Institution

International Monetary Fund Annual Report 2020

Finance & Development: June 2019: The IMF at 75


VIDEO: Bretton Woods: The Next Chapter. Historians discuss the founding of the IMF and the events that have shaped it. Speakers: Jim Boughton, former IMF Historian, Bessma Momani, associate professor at the University of Waterloo, Greg Ip, U.S. Economics Editor, The Economist, Joseph P. Joyce, author of "The IMF and Global Economic Crises: Phoenix Rising?", Kurt Schuler, Coeditor, The Bretton Woods Transcripts, Benn Steil, author, The Battle of Bretton Woods, and Gerry Rice, IMF Communications Director. (1:23).


From the History Books, the Rethinking of the International Monetary System - Fifty years ago, the world changed. On August 15, 1971, US President Richard Nixon slammed shut the “gold window,” suspending dollar convertibility. Although it was not Nixon’s intention, this act effectively marked the end of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates.


The 1990s: The IMF and the Stormy Decade Revealing the Secrets of Bretton Woods