When the Archive was established in 1978 by Victor, 3rd Lord Rothschild, a programme for arranging and describing the bank's records began. In subsequent years, members of the Rothschild family started to view the Rothschild Archive as a suitable home for private papers, and the work programme was expanded to incorporate these collections.
The development of the Archive's services to the staff of the bank and to outside researchers embraced the establishment of a library of works written about the Rothschilds and family members' own works. This library continues to expand and is available in the research centre.
The Archive also manages an image bank based on its own holdings, but also incorporating images from other collections. Items that are the copyright of the Archive may be available for reproduction on request.
In 1999 the ownership of the Archive was transferred to The Rothschild Archive Trust, an independent body of family members and advisers committed to securing the future of the collection and to developing its use by the academic community.