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Anthony Eden’s papers (FO 954) are available online.These are the private office papers of mostly 20th century politicians, diplomats and officials surrendered to government on retirement.The guide provides advice on the different ways in which you will need to use our own catalogue as well as the indexes and registers created by the Foreign Office itself to find individual records.There is also advice on how to find treaties dating back to 1695 and now held among Foreign Office records.Follow the links in the table below to search the respective series by one or more of the following: Private and private office papers relating to foreign affairs held at The National Archives fall under three main categories: These are private papers of diplomats and politicians involved in foreign affairs directly gifted to, or deposited with, The National Archives (previously the Public Record Office).Browse through our catalogue references for these from PRO 30/1-99 or search for them by name of author or place of origin using the advanced search and entering PRO 30 in the first reference box.Basic searches by country and year Use our catalogue to search for document references with the advanced search, using the boxes to restrict your search results to FO and FCO references, specific years and searching with combinations of the following keywords: Specific subject searches The only way to search for these records by subject is to visit us at our building in Kew and use the registers of embassy and consulate correspondence that exist from the 1820s onwards. Use the advanced catalogue search to identify a document reference for the relevant register, using the country name AND “Embassy and Consulates” AND “registers” as keywords. With the document reference you can order the document (you can order documents in advance). Once you have the register, select the appropriate section within it (to/from Foreign Office; to/from government of the host country; Commercial, Treaty etc.). Consult the left-hand pages for incoming correspondence, the right-hand page for outgoing correspondence. Armed with the details of the relevant entries from the register, return to the advanced catalogue search to identify and order the relevant volume of correspondence, using the country name AND “embassy and consulates” AND “general correspondence” as keywords, and restrict to the relevant year. The volumes of correspondence (an example is shown below) are arranged by author and recipient, then by date.Within the relevant volume, look for the despatch number.
Foreign Office records are held in record department FO and Foreign and Commonwealth Office records in FCO.
These are unregistered papers of mostly (though not entirely) 19th century politicians, diplomats and officials taken away on retirement but subsequently returned to government.
Search for references to these using the advanced search in our catalogue, searching by surname, year range and entering department code FO in the reference box.
Search for private office papers by author surname using the search engines in the FO 800 and FO 794 series descriptions.
The papers of a large number of bilateral or multilateral international commissions, from 1790-1967 are among the Foreign Office records at The National Archives.
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From 1968, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office assumed these roles, in addition to administering the remaining British dependencies and managing relations with the Commonwealth (previously the responsibility of the Commonwealth Office).