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Roubaix collection (1997 019): Compagnie du Nord

The Archives Nationales du Monde du Travail in Roubaix, France holds collections of related papers concerning Rothschild railway business. 

For further information about records held in France and how to access them, see the Introduction to The Paris banking house 


Groupe Rothschild/Compagnie du Nord

Fonds 1997 019, 1753-1973, 108 items and 14 microfilms 


These records were transferred to the Archives Nationales du Monde du Travail in 1997 from Barclays Bank, 183 avenue Daumesnil 75012 Paris. Barclays, a British bank based in London, founded in 1896, acquired the former Banque Rothschild and its subsidiary Laffitte Investissement in 1991. The papers comprise records of the Rothschild Group and the Compagnie du Nord and include records of the Northern Railway Company, the Paris-Orléans Railway Company, the Compagnie du Nord, Banque Rothschild and other companies founded or absorbed by them.

Northern Railway Company

The Northern Railway Company was founded in 1845 to operate the line form France to Belgium. In 1848, the Compagnie du Nord absorbed the two lines from Creil to Saint-Quentin and from Fampoux to Hazebrouk, and in 1851 the line from Amiens to Boulogne. In 1853, the company took over the rights to the line from Charleroi to Erquelines which became the Belgian North Railway after the acquisition of other lines. In 1875, the North took over the lines of the Compagnie du Nord-Est (Lille-Valenciennes and Lille-Béthune) and Compagnie de Picardie and Flandres. In 1937, the operation of the network was transferred to the National Railway Company (SNCF), a public company; The Northern Railway Company became the Compagnie du Nord, a privately held financial company. In association with Compagnie du P.O. (Paris-Orléans), it served as a holding company for the Rothschild group. 

Paris Orléans

The line from Paris to Orléans was granted in 1838 to a private company. A decree of March 27, 1852 authorised the merger of the concessionary companies of the lines of Paris to Orléans, Orléans to Bordeaux and Tours to Nantes. In 1875, new agreements allowed the Compagnie d'Orléans to absorb lines of local interest. From 1922, the Compagnie d'Orléans took over the operation of the Midi network. In 1937, a hundred years after its founding, the Compagnie d'Orléans transferred its network to the SNCF. On that date it became a financial company associated with the Compagnie du Nord to serve as a holding company for the Rothschild group.

Banque Rothschild

The son of a merchant banker in Frankfurt, James de Rothschild moved to Paris in 1811 to found a bank there. This bank, headquartered at 26 rue Laffitte in Paris, was involved in the creation of the Northern Railway Company, nationalised in 1937. In 1978 , The Rothschild bank absorbed the Compagnie du Nord, a private financial company. Nationalised in 1982, Banque Rothschild was acquired in 1991 by Barclays.

Northern Investment Company

The North Investment Company (North East) was founded in 1953 by the Northern Railway Company and the Rothschild Bank under the Ordinance of November 2, 1945 on Investment Companies. It was absorbed by Compagnie du Nord in 1967.

Société de participation du construction du Nord de la France

The Société de participation du construction du Nord de la France (SOPAR) was founded as a public limited company in 1958, taking over from André Delabon's Ateliers de construction du Nord de la France. In 1960, it became an investment company under the name Société de participation du Nord de la France (SOPANOR). It was absorbed in 1964 by the Société d'investissement du Nord.

New Technology Investment Company

The New Technology Investment Company was founded in 1959 by Rothschild Bank and the National Bank for Trade and Industry. It was absorbed in 1964 by the Société d'Investissement du Nord (SINord).

Société financier d'exploitations industrielles 

The Société financier d'exploitations industrielles was founded in 1927 by the Société Goudchaux et compagnie. It absorbed the Mining and Industrial Company in 1929 and was absorbed by the Compagnie du Nord in 1960.

Parisian Banking Company

The Parisian Banking Company was founded in 1881. It took over from Le Mans Bank and the stock exchange. Its head office was located 12 rue Bleue in Paris, then 48 rue des Petits Champs. The company benefited from the contribution of the Robert Schumann Company in 1954. In 1956, it became the Compagnie Financier de Paris (COFPA). In 1968, it was absorbed by the Compagnie du Nord after having contributed assets to Banque Rothschild.

French Petroleum Investment Company

The French oil investment company was founded in 1957 by Banque Rothschild and Lazard & Co. In 1968, it was split up and absorbed on the one by Crédit mobil industriel SOVAC and Compagnie du Nord.

Summary Catalogue

1997 019 001-051, 055-060, 095-108

Compagnie du chemin de fer du Nord, Compagnie du Nord, 1844-1973

1997 019 061-069

Compagnie du chemin de fer de Paris à Orléans, 1838-1970

1997 019 052-054

Banque Rothschild, 1748-1894

1997 019 070-076

Société d'investissement du Nord, 1945-1967

1997 019 077-079

Société de participation des Ateliers du Nord de la France,  1958-1964

1997 019 080-081

Société d'investissement des techniques nouvelles, 1959-1960

1997 019 082-087

Société financière d'exploitations industrielles, 1927-1960

1997 019 088-090

Société parisienne de banque, 1950-1968

1997 019 091-094

Société française d'investissements pétroliers, 1957-1968