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British Foreign Office — Russia Correspondence, 1883-1948

Location: Microfilm DA 47.65 G74


The British Foreign Office Records of General Correspondence for Russia, 1883-1905 is the basic collection of documents for studying Anglo-Russian relations during a period of fundamental change in international affairs.  ” The archive is huge and it is impossible to summarize its contents briefly. It deals with diplomatic matters such as the arrest of British subjects in Russia/USSR, Russian and Soviet military budgets and military exercises, Russian-Afghan relations, etc., but also contains many reports on internal Russian/Soviet affairs. From the late Imperial period, for example, materials include an evaluation of Peter Stolypin and reports on conditions in various cities of the Russian Empire during the 1905 Revolution and its aftermath. From the revolutionary era there are a number of documents on British assistance to the White forces, German counterfeiting of Russian paper money, and underground activities of the Bolsheviks during the German occupation of Ukraine.”

How to search the collection

“There are two separate procedures for using the finding aids…one for materials dated from 1883 through 1905 and another for those dated 1906 and later.

Materials from 1883-1905 … the researcher should examine the microfilmed Foreign Office registers for the documents first. These registers are handwritten and contain brief descriptions of each document. Documents are organized by general type (“commercial despatches,” etc.) and by year (and sometimes month) of arrival in London. The researcher should note the category and date of the documents s/he wishes to examine.” ” The system is clunky and as far as I have been able to determine, there is no subject index.”  The first register begins in 1890.

The guides for 1906-1948 are reel indexes. “Materials from 1906 and later…the bound paper finding aids for 1906 and later (Microfilm DA 47.65 G74 Guide) are organized chronologically, by general document type, and sometimes by consular provenance (St. Petersburg consulate, Warsaw, etc.). Thankfully the bound finding aids describe each document and also show what microfilm reels documents are on (they also show the volume number and page number in bound Foreign Office document series sitting somewhere in London, but that’s irrelevant for the  researcher). In short, go straight to the bound paper finding aids. There is no need to consult registers (which don’t exist anyway after 1919).”(Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. Harvard University)


British Foreign Office — Russia: Correspondence 1906- 1917 Guide (Microfilm  DA 47.65 G74).

British Foreign Office — Russia: Correspondence 1922-29 Guide (Microfilm  DA 47.65 G74).

British Foreign Office — Russia: Correspondence 1930-40 Guide (Microfilm  DA 47.65 G74).

British Foreign Office — Russia: Correspondence 1941-45 Guide (Microfilm  DA 47.65 G74).

British Foreign Office — Russia: Correspondence 1946-48 Guide (Microfilm  DA 47.65 G74).

For more information about this subject in our Library Catalog, check out these
Subject Categories:

Great Britain -- Foreign relations -- Russia -- Sources.

Russia -- Foreign relations -- Great Britain -- Sources.

Soviet Union -- Foreign relations -- Great Britain -- Sources.

Time Period: 19th Century   20th Century  

Subject keywords: Great Britain - History, Military History