[Image: Ceiling over the Grand Staircase, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.]
Volume Details: First published by The Stationary Office in 1995. Electronic version reproduced with permission of the editor under an Open Government Licence.
Editor Details: ANNE THURSTON is Founding Director of the International Records Management Trust. Thurston served as a member of the UK Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Public Records between 1994 and 2000, and in 2000 received an OBE for services to public administration in Africa. She is Editor of both volumes in BDEEP Series C, Sources for Colonial Studies in the Public Records Office.
Selection from Editor’s Preface:
“This guide is published as a companion volume in the British Documents on the End of Empire Project and as a Public Record Office handbook. It supersedes R B Pugh’s earlier work, The Records of the Colonial and Dominions Offices, London 1964. Pugh’s volume, incorporated here in a revised form, was produced when records were open only to the early part of the twentieth century, and it concentrates on record practices up to about 1925.” (p.xi)
“Perhaps partly because of the lack of a comprehensive guide, these records have tended to be an under-utilized source, for the study not only of individual territories and regions but of larger policy issues. It is hoped that the additions provided here will enhance the use of the records, opening them as a resource for undergraduate students and making them more accessible to postgraduate students and overseas governments wishing to trace relevant records in the Public Record Office. A second part to the guide is planned to extend researchers’ awareness of available sources through an examination of the involvement of other departments of state in colonial affairs and the relevant records they produced, particularly in the period following the Second World War.” (p.xi)