Foreign and Commonwealth Office and predecessors: Political and Other Departments: General Correspondence before 1906, Great Britain and General

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Details of FO 83
Reference:FO 83
Foreign and Commonwealth Office and predecessors: Political and Other Departments: General Correspondence before 1906, Great Britain and General

Before 1906, when the Foreign Office's registry procedure was reorganised, the general correspondence passed to the Library when it was two years old and was there arranged for binding in a series of country series. A residue of material not relating to any one country and therefore not assignable to a specific country series makes up this 'Great Britain and General' series. With the change over to departmental series of subject files in 1906 the need for this series came to an end and it contains no records of a later date than 1905 except a collection of printed instructions, etc, to consuls and certain formal records of the Treaty and Royal Letter Department.

The series includes some volumes of correspondence of a miscellaneous nature, but the majority are 'cases', which are collections of papers on particular subjects, often covering several years, which have been retained in this form instead of being separated into their individual places within the various annual series of drafts, despatches, etc. These cases cover a wide range of subjects. Some relate to subjects of continuing interest over many years (often in sequences of several volumes); other deal with specific events or subjects of more short-lived interest; a considerable number are collections of answers to requests for information on a particular subject made of British ministers and consuls abroad for the benefit of Royal Commissions, Parliamentary Committees, other government departments, etc. They come from all departments of the Foreign Office except the Chief Clerk's and Slave Trade and African Departments.

Date: 1745-1975

Grouped into subseries corresponding to the six categories of cases: (i) General, (ii) Commercial, (iii) Consular, (iv) Legal, (v), Library, (vi) Treaty, with a separate subseries for miscellaneous correspondence. Each subseries is divided into subsubseries for specific subjects or types of document.

Related Material: See also State Papers: Foreign in SP
Separated Material: Records listed in the original paper catalogue as 'starred' entries were transferred to
FO 97
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 2642 volume(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Unpublished finding aids: Between 1810 and 1890 there are detailed registers and indexes to the miscellaneous domestic various correspondence, to the circulars and to many of the cases in FO 605

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