Catalogue description Foreign Office, Private Offices: Various Ministers' and Officials' Papers

Search within or browse this series to find specific records of interest.

Date range

Details of FO 800
Reference: FO 800
Title: Foreign Office, Private Offices: Various Ministers' and Officials' Papers

This series consists of the Private Office papers of Secretaries of State between 1900 and 1935 and from 1938 (with one exception), and of many under Secretaries of State from 1886 to 1948, together with the private papers of many other senior officials and individuals concerned with foreign affairs. Additionally, there are miscellaneous papers relating to international conferences and to the conduct of foreign affairs between 1831 and 1960. The series also contains papers of Edward Heath while Lord Privy Seal with Foreign Office responsibilities for UK entry into the Common Market 1960-1963, and the papers of Sir William Malkin as the legal adviser to the Foreign Office.

The Private Office papers, which record correspondence between the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister, and between the Secretary of State, the under secretaries of state and all other ministers and senior officials - both at home and abroad - who needed to be kept informed, are fundamental to the conduct of foreign affairs.

Records within this series are available to download as digital microfilm.

Date: 1824-1968

The overall arrangement of the series is roughly chronological; within that, the arrangement follows the original order of the creator and may be chronological, or subject based

Related material:

For later private office files see FCO 73

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Originals held at:

University of Birmingham Library (pieces 750-851)

Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 990 volume(s)
Access conditions: Available in digital format unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

From 1960 Foreign Office

Accruals: Series is accruing
Administrative / biographical background:

The Private Office of the Secretary of State, and the Private Offices of the under Secretaries of State, evolved with the formalisation of the Foreign Office from the end of the eighteenth century.

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?