Skip to main content
Notice: The Library is open for research by appointment only, please visit our research services page for more information.

Walter E. Trabbold papers

Creation: 1950-1978
Accession: 2683


Walter E. Trabbold (1921- ) was vice president of the Bank of Delaware from 1968 to 1981, and spent forty-one years in the banking industry. He was a pioneer in bank automation, bank information systems, and cash management systems. The papers include Trabbold's personal collection of technical bulletins, annual reports, correspondence, several of his publications on the banking industry, as well as newspaper clippings and other material related to data and information management systems related to banking.


  • Creation: 1950-1978



0.5 Linear Feet

Historical Note

Walter E. Trabbold (1921-) retired as vice president from the Bank of Delaware in 1981 after forty-one years in the banking industry. Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Trabbold was a pioneer in bank automation, bank information systems, and cash management systems. He began his career with the Bank of Delaware in 1939 and was a 1962 graduate from the Stonier School of Banking at Rutgers University. Between 1970 and 1973, Trabbold was an instructor of bank automation at Purdue University. In addition, Trabbold served as a guest lecturer at the University of Arizona, Stanford University, Cornell University, and the University of Delaware. In the 1960s and 1970s, he was a regular guest instructor at the IBM and AT&T Executive Schools in Endicott, Poughkeepsie, and Cooperstown, New York, and also conducted numerous seminars for IBM throughout the country.

In 1966, Trabbold wrote the No-Pass Book Savings Manual, published by the American Bankers Association, which led to the elimination of the savings passbooks in banking. He also published forty-eight articles in the United States, and ten in foreign countries. His book, Progress in Information Systems, published in 1970 by the Bank of Delaware, was distributed throughout the world. Trabbold served on the American Bankers Association Savings Committee, the Bank of Automation Committee, and was also chairman of the two American Bankers National Automation conferences. In addition, he was a member of the Bank Automation Association and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1986.

After serving as vice president of the Bank of Delaware from 1968 to 1981, Trabbold retired from the banking business, becoming president of Del Data Computers and publisher of the Delaware Business Review. In 1986, he cofounded Community Newspapers in Hockessin, Delaware, acting as its president until his retirement two years later. Outside of his business endeavors, Trabbold was a member of the Concord Country Club for forty-seven years and served in several positions as a lifelong member of the Holly Oak United Methodist Church. He also played semi-pro baseball for many years with the Holly Oak teams. Trabbold was also an avid golfer, playing in the local Industrial League and at the Concord Country Club, and was part owner of the Wilmington Blue Bombers, a minor league basketball team in which he served as secretary from 1963 to 1972.

Scope and Content

The Walter E. Trabbold papers consist of material collected throughout Trabbold's career in the banking industry. Included are technical reports produced by the American Bankers Association, annual reports from the Bank of Delaware, finished drafts of Trabbold's writings, newspaper clippings on the Bank of Delaware and other stories related to the banking industry, correspondence, and manuals and booklets on bank information management systems. The collection gives insight into the banking industry's transition to a checkless society by adopting new automation technology, data management systems, as well as the computer's effect on the future of banking. Accordingly, the majority of materials relate to Trabbold's expertise in bank automation and cash management systems, which includes several bulletins on the subject produced by the American Bankers Association and the Association of Bank Audit, Control and Operation. Also included are papers on banking technology, some of which were written by Trabbold, and IBM data processing application manuals produced for the Bank of Delaware.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access.

Related Material

Bank of Delaware records, 1795-1970 (Accession 1719), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Language of Materials


Related Names


Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Walter E. Trabbold papers
Rainer Naus
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
Script of description:

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA