Welcome toThe Rothschild Archive'swebsite

Sources for business history

Sources for art history: Catalogue of the pictures of Alfred de Rothschild 1901

Sources for yachting history: Plans for Nathaniel von Rothschild's yacht Veglia 1905

Sources for natural history: Walter 2nd Lord Rothschild and his zebra carriage: c.1910

Sources for global financial history: Map of lines of the Brazil Railway Company: c.1920

Sources for business history: index cards to bank files

Sources for social history: Rothschild Hospital Paris: 1920s

Sources for business history: detail of a Rothschild bond coupon

Sources for architectural history: Halton House: 1890s

Sources for the history of travel: Lionel de Rothschild's tours of Spain: 1909

Sources for local history: Tring Park: c.1900

Sources for Royal history: shooting party with Edward Prince of Wales: 1893

Sources for political history: Lionel de Rothschild: first Jewish MP: 1858

Sources for sporting history: St Amant winner of the Derby: 1904

Sources for local history: gardeners at Aston Clinton: 1899

Sources for Rothschild family history: Lionel de Rothschild's yacht Rhodora: 1927

Sources for London history: entrance to New Court: 1965

Sources for design history: plans for Lionel de Rothschild's Rolls-Royce: 1930

Sources for business history: Rothschild gold bars produced by the Royal Mint Refinery: 1930s

Sources for business history: letters of August Belmont Rothschild Agent in New York: 1860s

Arts & education

It has been estimated that the Rothschild family has given more than 60,000 works to over 150 public institutions within the space of a century. Many former Rothschild houses have become museums such as the Villa Acton-Pignatelli in Naples, and the Villa Ile-de-France at cap Ferat. In all the cities where the family settled they endowed and established libraries, schools and supported the arts.

A S von Rothschild Foundation for the Promotion of Arts and Crafts, Frankfurt

The Anselm Salomon von Rothschild Foundation for the Promotion of Arts and Crafts was one of only two of the Rothschilds' many Frankfurt foundations which had cultural objectives. It was founded by Hannah Mathilde von Rothschild (1832-1924) in memory of her father Anselm Salomon. The statutes of the Foundation decreed that one third of the recipients of support were to be of the Jewish faith. The foundation survived during the period of Aryanisation by being incorporated into the Pestalozzi Foundation.

Carl von Rothschild Public Library, Frankfurt

A foundation to establish a free public library in Frankfurt was established by Hannah Louisa von Rothschild (1850-1892) in 1887. Named in memory of her father, Mayer Carl von Rothschild, the library was modelled on the free public library system which Hannah Louise had seen in England. After Hannah Louise's death in 1892, her mother, Louise, donated one million marks to ensure the perpetuity of the library. The library's first home was on Bethmannstrasse, but in 1907 the library took over 15 Untermainkai, the former Rothschild residence in Frankfurt. In the 1930s, the entire stock of the library  was absorbed by the Frankfurt City and University Library.

Maison de l'lnstitut de France, London

In 1919, Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934) made a substantial donation to the Institut de France to facilitate the creation of a residence in London in which visiting French students could stay and absorb aspects of English culture. Edmond hoped that the donation would encourage mutual respect between both nations, building on feelings of solidarity developed during the First World War.

Musée du Louvre, Paris

In 1936, Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934) donated his collection of 40,000 prints and 6,000 drawings to the Louvre. His brother Alphonse had already bought over 2,000 works of contemporary French painting and sculpture and given them to over 150 museums, often to form the core of their collections. 

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA

In 2015, the heirs of Mrs Bettina Lorram (née Rothschild) (1924-2012) made a gift to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston of 186 objects, originally owned by Baron and Baroness Alphonse and Clarice de Rothschild of Vienna, including European decorative arts, furniture, prints, drawings, paintings, and personal objects including jewellery and jewelled objects, and miniatures. Go to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston website »

Evelina de Rothschild School, Jerusalem

In 1864, Sir Moses Montefiore established a girls' school in Jerusalem, which subsequently came to be known as the Evelina de Rothschild School, in memory of the Evelina (1838-1866), daughter of Lionel de Rothschild (1808-1879) who died in childbirth. The Rothschild family supported this school as well as the Rothschild Technical School for Boys which was run by the Alliance Israelite Universelle. By the early 1880s the Evelina school accommodated 184 pupils and was praised in reports of the Anglo-Jewish Association Council. An annual sum of £800 was provided by Evelina's brothers to cover all the running costs of the school, and Mrs Leopold de Rothschild (1862-1937) chaired the Committee of Ladies to supervise the curriculum. Under Miss Annie Landau, who joined the school in 1899, by the end of the 1st world war the Evelina was the 'best Jewish Girls School in Palestine', according to the Military Governor of Jerusalem.

The Jews' Free School, London

The Jews' Free School dates back to the year it was re-established at Bell Lane, Spitalfields, London, 1817, to provide basic education to the poor Jewish community in London's East End. Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777-1836) was an early benefactor, and his widow, Hannah (1783-1850), established an accumulating fund for the permanent endowment of the school in memory of her husband who had been so closely interested in its progress. Hannah also took responsibility herself for providing a new outfit of clothing for every pupil each year, from 1822 until her death in 1850. The Rothschild family provided four active Presidents of the school, covering 115 years: Sir Anthony (1810-1876) (President 1847-1875); Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915) (President 1876-1915); Leopold (1845-1917) (President 1915-1917) and Anthony Gustav (1887-1961) (President 1917-1961). Anthony's wife, Louise (1821-1910), together with her sisters-in-law Juliana (1831-1877) and Charlotte (1825-1899), sat on the Ladies' Committee, supervising tuition in the school. Charlotte and the daughters of Louise, Constance (1843-1931) and Annie (1844-1926), taught classes, all three subsequently publishing the texts of their lessons.


In the 1820s, the sons of Nathan Mayer Rothschild began to attend German universities, and then in the 1830s, Nathan's youngest son, Mayer Amschel (1818-1874) went to Cambridge, establishing a long connection with that university. In Frankfurt. Hannah Mathilde von Rothschild (1832-1924) supported the founding of the University of Frankfurt in 1912, with an exceptional sum of 500,000 Reichsmarks; the university (Goethe University Frankfurt) opened in 1914 as a citizens' university. In 1992, the Rothschild family helped found the Rothschild Visiting Professorship programme at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge, and in 1998, as part of the bicentenary celebrations, the N M Rothschild & Sons Professorship of Mathematical Sciences chair was endowed at the Mathematics Faculty and a separate charitable trust was created to commemorate the life of Victor Rothschild - a Cambridge scholar with close associations to the University. The Victor Rothschild Memorial Fund was created to encourage the study of mathematics in schools and to assist especially gifted children from less privileged backgrounds. The late Sir Evelyn de Rothschild (1931-2022) was closely involved with the University of Buckingham since its creation, and in 1996, the late Queen opened the Anthony de Rothschild Building at the University, which houses the School of Business.

Bookplate from the Carl von Rothschild Library

Bookplate from the Carl von Rothschild Library

Seventieth Birthday testimonial presented to Lord Rothschild by the Jews' Free School in 1910

Seventieth Birthday testimonial presented to Lord Rothschild by the Jews' Free School in 1910