Selected Source Materials

United States

Foreign Relations of the United States (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1861ff). This series represents the official documentary record of U.S. diplomacy. Early volumes were organized chronologically by year. The post-1945 volumes are organized chronologically by presidential administration and features a range of specialized topics. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has digitized much of the FRUS series. 

American Foreign Policy Basic Documents (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1956ff). Compiled and published by the U.S. Department of State, this compendium of foreign-policy documents includes the principal public foreign policy messages from the American government. Many of the early volumes have been digitized by the Hathi Trust Digital Library and are available online. 

Department of State Bulletin (Washington: Office of Public Communication, Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State, 1939-89); and Department of State Dispatch (1989-). The official periodical for the U.S. Department of State, the Bulletin and Dispatch record important documents, seminal speeches, and the like for U.S. diplomacy. 

Current Policy

Records of the Department of State Relating to Internal Affairs [series] (Washington: National Archives and Records Service). This series has microfilmed the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration's files relating to the internal affairs of nearly every country in the world during the first half of the twentieth century. Released microfilms for most countries have been released through 1945. 

Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files (Bethesda, Md.: University Publications of America). This microform series is organized by U.S. relations with various countries. 

Confidential U.S. Diplomatic Post Records (Bethesda, Md.: University Publications of America). Likewise, this microform series is organized by diplomatic post. 

Despatches from United States Ministers (Bethesda, Md.: University Publications of America). Microform series organized by diplomatic postings. 

Central Intelligence Agency, National Intelligence Estimate

Congressional Record 

Congressional Research Service Reports 

Annual Reports of the Secretary of Defense 

U.S. Department of State Electronic Reading Room.  

Documents on Germany, 1944-1985 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1985). 

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (Washington: Central Intelligence Agency). Excerpts from FBIS from 1941 to 1947 are available online. Later access requires a library subscription. 

Presidential Directives and Executive Orders [on National Security]. Ed. Federation of American Scientists, Intelligence Resource Program. 

Soviet-American Relations: The Détente Years, 1969-1972, ed. Edward C. Keefer, David C. Geyer, and Douglas E. Selvage (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2007). 


Documents on Australian Foreign Policy (Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1975-). Most of the volumes in the first series of Australia's official diplomatic documents are organized chronologically across the 1930s and 1940s. The second series has been organized thematically and treats more specialized topics across broader periods of time. The contents of each volume have been digitized and are keyword searchable.

Australia in the World: The Foreign Affairs and Trade Files: Monograph Series (Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 2004-). Additionally, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade publishes a monograph series dealing largely with trade topics. Also see the digitized a number of historical monographs, each available for download as PDF files. 


Außenpolitische Dokumente der Republik Österreich, 1918-1938 (Vienna: Verlag für Geschichte und Politik, 1993-). This series represents the official diplomatic history of interwar Austria, compiled and edited by the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Austrian Academy of Sciences). Each volume is organized thematically. Most documents in each are written in German with occasional English and French-language documents as well. 

Fontes rerum Austriacarum [Series] (Vienna: Historischen Commission der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1855-). This series offers an eclectic mix of history and source material from the Habsburg Monarchy and its successor states. Most volumes were published between 1855 and 1904, and publication was subsequently revived in the middle of the twentieth century. 

ALEX: Historische Rechts- und Gesetzestexte Online. The Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Austrian National Library) has begun the ambitious project of digitizing all legal, judicial, and legislative texts of Habsburg-era Austria. The core of the project deals with the Franz Josef era (1848-1916), though later additions have digitized volumes through the 1980s. Included as well are the legal texts of the crownlands, which researchers can read in the original languages—German, Magyar, Czech, Croatian, etc. 

ANNO: Historische Zeitungen und Zeitschriften. Additionally from the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, the ANNO project has begun digitizing historical newspapers from the Habsburg lands, spanning the period 1568 to 1945. 


Documents Diplomatiques Belges, first series (Brussels: Palais des Académies, 1964-66). 5 volumes. This series deals with the period between 1920 and 1940. Each volume is organized chronologically. 

Documents Diplomatiques Belges, second series (Brussels: Académie Royale de Belgique, 1998-). This series, currently in publication, covers the period after 1941. Each volume is an edited compilation of official documents from the Ministère des affaires étrangères. 


Documents on Canadian External Relations (Ottawa: External Affairs and International Trade, 1967-). This series represents the official record of Canada's foreign policy after 1909. Volumes one to six deal with Canada's role during the First World War and the interwar period and its struggle to become an autonomous dominion within the British Empire. Volumes seven to eleven cover Canada's role in world affairs at the time of the Second World War. Volumes twelve and beyond deal with postwar Canadian foreign relations. Each of the postwar volumes has been digitized and is available online. 

The European Union 


Bulletin of the European Communities

Europe: Magazine of the European Community

Journal officiel des Communautés européennes


Documents Diplomatiques Française (Paris: Ministère des Affaires Étrangères, 1929-). 

Journal officiel de la République française (Paris: 1871-). The Journal officiel (often abbreviated JO) official periodical and legal circular of the French government. The French civil code requires all new laws and decrees to be published in the JO before taking effect. 

La politique étrangerères de la France

Die deutsch-französischen Beziehungen: Chronologie und Dokumente, 1948-1999 (Bonn: Europa Union Verlag, 2000). 

Die deutsch-französischen Beziehungen seit 1963: Eine Dokumentation (Opladen: Leske und Budrich, 2002). 


Federal Republic of Germany   (after 1949)

Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Munich: R. Oldenbourg, 1949ff). 

40 Jahre Außenpolitik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Bonn: Aktuell, 1989). 

Aussenpolitik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Dokumente von 1949 bis 1994 (Cologne: Verlag Wissenschaft und Politik, 1995). 

Der Auswärtige Ausschuß des Deutschen Bundestages: Sitzungsprotokolle: Quellen zur Geschichte des Parlamentarismus und der politische Parteien, Vierte Reihe, Deutschland seit 1945 (Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag). 

Der Gesamtdeutsche Ausschuß: Sitzungsprotokolle des Ausschusses für gesamtdeutsche Fragen des Deutschen Bundestages (Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag). 

Bulletin des Presse- und Informationsamtes der Bundesregierung (Bonn: Press- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung, 1951ff). 


Dokumente zur Deutschlandpolitik (Frankfurt am Main: Alfred Metzner Verlag, 1984ff). Edited by the Bundesministerium für Innerdeutsche Beziehungen. 

Finanzpolitische Mitteilungen des Bundesministeriums der Finanzen (Bonn: Presse- und Informationsamt des Bundesregierung, 1953-1985). 

Die Kabinettsprotokolle der Bundesregierung (Boppard am Rhein: Harald Boldt Verlag, 1982-2000). 

Relay from Bonn: The Week in Germany 

Texte zur Deutschlandpolitik

Verhandlungen des deutschen Bundestages: Stenographische Berichte 

Verhandlungen über die Friedensregelung mit Deutschland, 1945-1990 

Weißbuch zur Sicherheitspolitik Deutschlands und zur Zukunft der Bundeswehr

Akten zur Vorgeschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1945-1949 (Munich: R. Oldenbourg, 1976ff). 3 volumes. 

German Democratic Republic   (1949-1990)

Beziehungen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik zur Bundesrepublik Deutschalnd und zu Berlin (West): Dokumente, 1971-1988 (Berlin: Staatsverlag der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, 1990). Edited by the Ministerium für Auswärtige Angelegenheiten. 

Dokumente zur Außenpolitik der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik (Berlin: Staatsverlag der DDR, 1954ff). Edited by the Institut für Internationale Beziehungen, Potsdam-Bebelsberg. 

Reden und Aufsätze [of Erich Honecker] (Berlin: Dietz, 1975ff). 

Weimar Republic   (1918-1933) 

Walther Rathenau, Briefe, ed. Alexander Jaser, Clemens Picht, and Ernst Schulin (Düsseldorf: Droste, 2006). 2 volumes. 

The Memoirs of Prince Max of Baden, ed. and trans. W. M. Calder and C. W. H. Sutton (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1928). 2 volumes. 

Philip Scheidemann, Memoirs of a Social Democrat, trans. J. E. Michell (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1929). 2 volumes. 

German Reich   (1871-1945) 

Akten zur deutschen auswärtigen Politik, 1918-1945

Stenographische Berichte über der Verhandlungen 

Akten der Reichskanzlei 

Die große Politik der europäischen Kabinette, 1871-1914: Sammlung der diplomatischen Akten des Auswärtigen Amtes

Preußen im Bundestag, 1851 bis 1859: Dokumente der K. Preuß. Bundestags-Gesandtschaft (Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1882-84). Edited by Ritter von Poschinger. This is a rich source, which forms part of the Publicationen aus den k. preußischen Staatsarchiven series. Other items in the series deal with more specialized topics, including the edited correspondence between members of the Prussian royal families, Frederick the Great's policies toward West Prussia and the Polish provinces, and so on. 

Given the polycentric nature of the German lands across the nineteenth century, historians of the era are well served to look at the memoirs and collected writings of key players. Especially revealing are: 

  • Die politische Reden des Fürsten Bismarck (Stuttgart, 1892). 14 volumes. 
  • Memoirs of Prince von Bülow (Boston: Little, Brown, 1931). 4 volumes. 
  • Denkwürdigkeiten aus dem Leben des General-Feldmarschalls Kriegsministers Grafen von Roon: Sammlung von Briefen, Schriftstücken und Erinnerungen (Breslau: Verlag von Eduard Trewendt, 1897). 3 volumes. 
  • The Holstein Papers: The Memoirs, Diaries, and Correspondence of Friedrich von Holstein, 1837-1909, ed. Norman Rich and M. H. Fisher (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1955). 4 volumes. 


Documents on Irish Foreign Policy (Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1998-). Beginning in 1996, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and the Royal Irish Academy began joint publication of an official diplomatic record series. The series begins with the year 1919, and released volumes will continue with chronological coverage. 


Documents on the Foreign Policy of Israel, first series (Jerusalem: Israel State Archives, 1981-1997). This first series of the official diplomatic record of Israel is organized chronologically, covering the period from the foundation of the state to 1960. Many of the early documents are in English switching to mostly Hebrew after 1948. 

Documents on the Foreign Policy of Israel, second series (Jerusalem: Israel State Archives, 2009-). The second series of diplomatic documents is organized thematically. 


Documenti diplomatici Italiani (Rome: Libreria Della Stato, 1952-). The official record of Italian diplomacy, this series is organized chronologically, beginning in 1861. Many of the early volumes have been digitized by the Hathi Trust Digital Library and are available online. 


Documents on Japanese Foreign Policy (Tokyo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1936-). Edited documents cover Japanese diplomacy since the Meiji Restoration. Most volumes are published in Japanese. In Japanese, the series is referred to as Nihongaikobunsho. 

North Atlantic Treaty Organization 


NATO Facts and Figures 

NATO Review 

NATO's Fifteen Nations [and successor publications] 

The Netherlands

Documenten betreffende de buitenlandse politiek van Nederland, 1848-1945 (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1957-2004). 35 volumes. The volumes are divided into three series, dealing with (a) Dutch policies between 1848 and the end of the First World War, (b) the interwar period, and (c) the Second World War. 

Bronnenuitgave Nederlandse ontwikkelingssamenwerking, 1949-1989 (The Hague: Instituut voor Nederlandse Geschiedenis, 1998ff). 6 volumes. The printed volumes are being supplemented with additional digital material. The project website features fully searchable and PDF versions of each file. 

Officiële Bescheiden betreffende de Nederlands-Indonesische Betrekkingen 1945-1969 (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1971-94). 20 volumes + web resources. The first portion of the series, some 20 volumes, deals with the period between 1945 and 1950. The period between 1950 and 1963 has been appended to the series as a web resource

Nederland en de Europese integratie, 1950-1986, ed. Marc Dierikx, Loes van Suylekom, and Mari Smits. Fully searchable digital archive of Dutch foreign policy documents, which is constantly updated. 


Polskie Dokumenty Dyplomatyczne (Warsaw: Warszawa Polski Inst., 2005ff). Volumes begin with documents from 1918 through the end of the communist era. All volumes are published in Polish though English translations have been released for documents on the outbreak of the Second World War. 

Bonn-Warschau, 1945-1991: Die deutsch-polnischen Beziehungen: Analyse und Dokumentation, ed. Hans Adolf Jacobsen, Mieczysław Tomala, and Dagmar Kunesch-Jörres (Cologne: Verlag Wissenschaft und Politik, 1992). 


Documente diplomatice române (Bucharest: Editura Academiei Române, 2005ff). Edited by the Romanian Diplomatic Institute, this series represents the official record of Romanian diplomacy from 1859 to the present. 

The Russian Federation

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The Russian Federation   (1991-)


Soviet Union   (1917-91) 

Dokumenty vneshneĭ politiki SSSR (Moscow: Ministerstvo inostrannykh del SSSR). Documentary record of Soviet foreign policy. 

Krasnyĭ arkhiv (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, 1955ff). This is a documentary collection of items published by the Central Archive Department of the Soviet Union. 



Diplomatische Dokumente der Schweiz (Zurich: Chronos, 1990ff). The official diplomatic record of Switzerland, the Diplomatische Dokumente der Schweiz (published in German) is formed by two series. The first deals with 1848 to 1945, and the second deals with 1945 to 1989. 

The United Kingdom

House of Commons Hansard, officially called The Official Report: House of Commons (Westminster: House of Commons). The Hansard records, though not strictly verbatim, the debates and speeches of the House of Commons and has been in continuous publication since the late eighteenth century. Parliament has prepared a highly functional website with a variety of search options. 

House of Lords Hansard, officially called The Official Report: House of Lords (Westminster: House of Lords). 

House of Commons Sessional Papers (New Canaan, Conn.: Readex). This microfilm series includes sessional papers, bills, reports, and command papers dating back to 1731. 

British Documents on the Origins of the War, 1898-1914 (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1926-38). 11 volumes. 

British Documents on Foreign Policy, 1919-1939 (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1946-). 65 volumes. 

Documents on British Policy Overseas (London: Routledge). This is the official documentary record of British diplomacy. The series is organized thematically and includes printed volumes, microform, and CD-ROM. 

British Documents on Foreign Affairs—Reports and Papers from the Foreign Office Confidential Print. The UK Public Records Office, now the National Archives, and University Publications of America have produced a rich microfilm series from the Foreign Office files. The confidential print is often the most revealing material from the British record. Covered topics are diverse, including British documents on the slave trade, on intelligence gathering in Russia and Central Asia, on Persia and Iran, on China in Tibet, on Germany, on the League of Nations, etc. 

British Foreign Office Russia Correspondence, 1946-1948 (Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 1981). 63 reels microform.