Led Astray by Published Documents

By David Langbart Scholars and others use the series Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), the official documentary publication of American foreign policy, and other printed primary sources, as sources of easily-accessible documentation.  Strict reliance upon published documents, however, can lead one astray if the point you are trying to draw is not the … Continue reading Led Astray by Published Documents

The Making of a FRUS Volume

By David Langbart The Historical Office at the Department of State recently published a history of the documentary publication now referred to as Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS).  The book, entitled Toward "Thorough, Accurate, and Reliable:" A History of the Foreign Relations of the United States Series, also is available online.  The history describes … Continue reading The Making of a FRUS Volume

Researching Foreign Affairs Records Part III: Research Hints

By David Langbart This is the third post in a four-part series about conducting research in the records of agencies specifically responsible for U.S. foreign relations.  It is derived from information on the NARA web pages devoted to that topic. Please visit Part I, Part II, and Part IV. Here are some very basic hints on … Continue reading Researching Foreign Affairs Records Part III: Research Hints

Why working at the National Archives is so interesting

Today's post is written by David Langbart. To a large degree, working with the records at the National Archives is a never-ending series of fascinating encounters with the original documentation of U.S. history. The following document, a memorandum of conversation (memcon) drafted by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in January 1954, gives an idea why … Continue reading Why working at the National Archives is so interesting