State Dept.

Page Contents:   Public Documents   --   Declassified Archival Material  --  Guides and Bibliographies  --  Oral History  --   Biography

Public Documents

Current State Department website includes statements from the current administration plus archived websites and other material.

State Department statements are available in the Department of State Bulletin (1939-1989) and Department of State Dispatch (1990-1999).

Avalon Project - Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy

Research Guide: U.S. Department of State Documents

The Foreign Relations of the United States series, issued by the State Department, largely comprises declassified material chosen to document US foreign relations. It is included together with other foreign relations documents in:

HeinOnline Foreign Relations of the United States (1861- ) provides full-text of Foreign Relations of the United States (1861- ) as well as other and earlier compendia, including:

  • Diplomatic correspondence of the United States concerning independence of the Latin-American nations.
  • Diplomatic correspondence of the United States: inter-American affairs, 1831-1860.
  • Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution.
  • Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States of America, from the Signing of the Definitive Treaty of Peace, 10th September, 1783, to the Adoption of the Constitution, March 4, 1789”

Other versions:

Foreign Relations of the United States (Kennedy-Reagan)

Foreign Relations of the United States (1861-1960) University of Wisconsin version

For earlier documents see:

U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1980 with American State Papers, 1789-1838 consists of reports, documents and journals of U.S. Congress, including reports originating in Executive Departments and submitted to Congress.

Pre-1861 U.S. foreign relations materials

Public documents, including foreign policy messages, addresses, interviews, press briefings, conferences, and releases, congressional testimony, and similar materials are published in:

Peace and war, United States foreign policy, 1931-1941.
HOLLIS Record

A Decade of American Foreign Policy: Basic Documents 1941- 1949. Rev. ed.
HOLLIS Record
Online version

American foreign policy, 1950-1955 : basic documents. 2 v.
HOLLIS Record
Online version

American foreign policy, current documents, 1956-67. 11. v.
HOLLIS record
Online version

American Foreign Policy, Basic Documents, 1977-1980 
HOLLIS record
Online Version

American foreign policy, current documents, 1981-
Online version (HathiTrust) (1977-1991)
HOLLIS Record

Other Electronic Resources for U.S. Foreign Relations (U.S. Dept. of State)

Documents Relating to American Foreign Policy (Mt Holyoke)

Declassified Archival Material

State Department Electronic Reading Room contains over 50,000 documents. State Department material from 1973-76 is available on the National Archives’ Access to Archival Databases website.

Collection of State Dept. Diplomatic Cables, 1973-1979 on the  National Archives' Access to Archival Databases” websiteMore information also FAQ.

Geographical, organizational and subject TAGs accompany each telegram. To select TAGs (see the FAQ) for searching, click any Search in the Series Description list, then Select from Code list. Hit Submit at bottom of window.  Selecting more than one TAG creates an OR search.  Put the TAGs you want in Advanced Search with all of the values for an AND search.

The Microfilm Collection, Lamont, level B, has numerous large collections that are easily overlooked. Among collections of microfilmed U.S. government documents, the following contain information on foreign countries.

The HOLLIS Records link goes to the whole set of records. To find records for one country search the title in "" (omitting the dates) and the country name:

"Confidential U.S. State Department central files" Argentina

Confidential U.S. diplomatic post records, 1925-1945 (coverage varies by country)
Online Guides (Search collection title) 
HOLLIS Records

Confidential U.S. State Department central files, 1940-1969 (coverage varies by country)
HOLLIS Records
Online Guides (Search collection title)

Despatches from United States ministers to [country name], 1790-1906 (coverage varies by country)
HOLLIS Search
For full list see NARA site. Select Microfilm icon, then search Ministers in search box.

Despatches from United States consuls in [city name],  1790-1906 (coverage varies by country)
HOLLIS Records
For full list see NARA site. Select Microfilm icon, then search Consuls in search box.
For items at CRL or not at Harvard or CRL, obtain via Interlibrary Loan

Records of the U.S. Department of State relating to the internal affairs of [Country name], 1910-1963 (coverage varies by country. mostly 1940s-1950s)
HOLLIS Records
Online guides

Records of the U.S. Department of State relating to political relations between the United States and [Country name], 1930-1959 (coverage varies by country)
HOLLIS Records
Online guide available only for Records of the U.S. Department of State relating to political relations between the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean states, 1945-1959. Department of State decimal files 711.12-711.39, 69 microfilm reels
Microforms (Lamont) | Film A 524.8 (1930/44) Level B

Archives Unbound: U.S. and Iraqi Relations: U.S. Technical Aid, 1950-1958 offers records drawn from the U.S. National Archives.

Cyprus Crisis, 1967: The State Department’s Crisis Files (1963-1967)
Online version
Guide

World War II, occupation, and the Civil War in Greece, 1940-1949: records of the U.S. State Department Classified Files

Japan at war and peace, 1930-1949: U.S. State Department records on the internal affairs of Japan 
HOLLIS Record

Records of the Office of Chinese Affairs,1945-1955. United States. Department of State
HOLLIS Record

Records of the United States Consulate
-- at Callao-Lima, 1825-1912. HOLLIS Record
-- in Bangkok, 1856-1912. HOLLIS Record
-- in Jerusalem, Palestine: confidential correspondence, 1920-35 (record group 84). HOLLIS Record

O.S.S./State Department intelligence and research reports. 14 pts. on 124 microfilm reels
HOLLIS Record for the microfilm
Online Guides  (Search collection title)
Online Version;    HOLLIS record with brief overview
pt. 1. Japan and its occupied territories during World War II
pt. 2. Postwar Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia, 1945-1949
pt. 3. China and India, 1941-1949
pt. 4. Germany and its occupied territories during World War II
pt. 5. Postwar Europe
pt. 6. The Soviet Union, 1941-1961
pt. 7. The Middle East, 1941-1961
pt. 8. Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and the Far East generally, 1950-1961
pt. 9. China and India, 1950-1961
pt. 10. Europe. 1950-1961 supplement
pt. 11. The Soviet Union. 1950-1961 supplement
pt. 12. The Middle East. 1950-1961 supplement.
pt. 13. Africa, 1941-1961
pt. 14. Latin America, 1941-1961

ProQuest history vault. Vietnam War and American foreign policy, 1960-1975 includes U.S. State Department Office of the Executive Secretariat, (1957-1967) and other collections.

Nineteenth Century Collection Online Asia and the West: Diplomacy and Cultural Exchange includes

  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Amoy, China, 1844-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Antung, Manchuria, China, 1904-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Bangkok, Siam, 1856-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Batavia, Java, Netherlands East Indies, 1818-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Canton, China, 1790-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Chefoo, China, 1863-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Chinkiang, China, 1864-1902
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Chunking, China, 1896-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Foochow, China, 1849-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Hakodate, Japan, 1856-1878
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Hangchow, China, 1904-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Hankow, China, 1861-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Hong Kong, 1844-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Iloilo, Philippine Islands, 1876-1886
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Kanagawa, Japan, 1861-1897
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Macao, China, 1849-1869
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Manila, Philippine Islands, 1817-1899
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Mukden, Manchuria, China, 1904-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Nagasaki, Japan, 1860-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Nanking, China, 1902-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Newchwang, Manchuria, China, 1865-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Ningpo, China, 1853-1896
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Osaka and Hiogo (Kobe), Japan, 1868-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Padang, Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies, 1853-1898
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Saigon, Vietnam, 1889-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Seoul, Korea, 1886-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Shanghai, China, 1847-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Singapore, Straits Settlements, 1833-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Swatow, China, 1860-1881
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Tientsin, China, 1868-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Yokohama, Japan, 1897-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Ministers to China, 1843-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Ministers to Japan, 1855-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Ministers to Korea, 1883-1905
  • Despatches from U.S. Ministers to Siam, 1882-1906
  • Notes from the Chinese Legation in the United States to the Department of State, 1868-1906
  • Notes from the Japanese Legation in the United States to the Department of State, 1858-1906
  • Notes from the Korean Legation in the United States to the Department of State, 1883-1906
  • Notes from the Siamese Legation in the United States to the Department of State, 1876-1906
  • Selected Records of the U.S. Consulate in Bangkok, Siam, 1856-1912
  • Selected Records of the U.S. Legation in China, 1849-1931
  • Selected Records of the U.S. Legation in Japan, 1855-1912

Gale World Scholar Latin America & the Caribbean Archive includes:

  • Correspondence and Record Cards of the Military Intelligence Division Relating to General, Political, and Military Conditions in Central America, 1918–1941
  • Despatches From U.S. Consuls in Havana, Cuba, 1783–1906
  • Despatches From U.S. Ministers to Cuba, 1902–1906
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to Internal Affairs of Argentina, 1940–1944
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to Internal Affairs of Mexico, 1930–1939
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to Political Affairs, U.S. and Bolivia, 1945–1959
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to Political Relations Between the U.S. and Brazil, 1945–1959
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to Political Relations Between the U.S. and Central America, 1911–1929
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to Political Relations Between the U.S. and Central America, 1911–1929 and Between Central America and Other States, 1910–1929
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to Political Relations Between the U.S. and Cuba, 1910–1929
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to Political Relations Between the U.S. and Guatemala, 1945–1959
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to Political Relations Between the U.S. and Haiti, 1910–1929
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to Political Relations Between the U.S. and Haiti, 1945–1959
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to Political Relations Between the U.S. and Other American States (Monroe Doctrine), 1910–1949
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to Political Relations Between the U.S. and Panama, 1910–1929
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to Political Relations Between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic, 1945–1959
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to Political Relations Between the United States and Nicaragua, 1910–1929
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to the First Panama Congress, 1825–1827
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to the Internal Affairs of Central America, 1930–1949
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to the Internal Affairs of Guatemala, 1950–1963
  • Records of the Department of State Relating to the Internal Affairs of the Dominican Republic, 1960–1963

Guides and Bibliographies

Record keeping in the Department of State, 1789-1956,  by Stephen H. Helton. Washington : National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1975, 35 p. (Reference information paper, 74)
HOLLIS Record
Full text in HathiTrust

A Reference Guide to United States Department of State Special Files, by Gerald Haines. Westport, Greenwood, 1985. 391 pp.
HOLLIS Record

Diplomatic records : a select catalog of National Archives microfilm publications. Washington, DC : National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1986, 245 p.
HOLLIS Record
HathiTrust Version

The Department of State and American Diplomacy : a bibliography, by Robert U. Goehlert, Elizabeth R. Hoffmeister. New York: Garland Pub., 1986. xxviii, 349 p.
HOLLIS Record

Oral History

Foreign Affairs Oral History Program (Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training)

Biography

Department of State (US): People offers biographies of the secretaries of State and others

Biographic register of the Department of State (1870-1974)
Google Books (1870, 1874)
Hathitrust (1916) (1945)
Internet Archive (1911)
HOLLIS Record
--Lists diplomats and consuls together with biographies if the recently deceased.

United States diplomatic and consular service. Our representatives abroad: biographical sketches of ambassadors, ministers, consuls-general, and consuls of the United States in foreign countries; including also a few representative Americans residing abroad in unofficial capacities, by Augustus C. Rogers.  New York, Atlantic publishing and engraving co., 1876. 2d ed., 540 p.
HathiTrust

American foreign service authors: a bibliography, by Richard Fyfe Boyce and Katherine Randall Boyce. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1973, 321 p.
HOLLIS Record
--Bibliography of books by foreign service officers (or spouses of foreign service personnel) throughout US history, including numerous memoirs.