Friday, February 20, 2009

FRUS Management Under Review by State Department

A blog post by Secrecy News, one of our sources for Congressional Research Service (CRS) documents, suggests that management problems within the State Department's Office of the Historian (HO) may have a negative impact on the “Foreign Relations of the United States” (FRUS) series of organizational changes are not made within the HO. Read the blog post here.

A State Department press statement from December 23, 2008, shows that then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice talked to the Historical Advisory Committee (HAC) about its concerns regarding the FRUS series, and "she had asked an outside Review Team to provide recommendations about how to ensure the FRUS series remains the gold standard for diplomatic history scholarship." According to the Secrecy News post, the review team's January 13, 2009, report, with suggestions for reorganization of the HO, was submitted to the Secretary of State.

The FRUS series started in 1861 and provides over 350 volumes of historical records of American foreign policy. Each volume features declassified records from the White House, the Department of State, and other foreign affairs agencies. On the State Department's FRUS site you can do a keyword search for specific foreign relations documents, browse among online volumes associated with a particular presidential administration, or view a full list of volumes.

For additional resources, see our guide to Foreign Relations.

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