Diplomatic Archive

A catalogue of the archive of diplomatic, consular, foreign service and foreign ministry lists dating from the 1950s to the 1990s transferred from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Library to the University of Leicester.


The A-Z of countries (above) takes you to a list of contents of the Diplomatic Archive.

Diplomatic ListThis archive, which at the time was uncatalogued, was transferred under Trust Deed from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to the University of Leicester in September 1995. It consists of 217 boxes of papers, most of which are diplomatic lists. The archive was built up in consequence of a standing instruction to British diplomatic and consular missions to send to London one copy of the local list as soon as it had been replaced by a new edition.

In 1999, thanks to the generosity of then Head of the Department of Politics, Professor John Young, funding was provided for the cataloguing of the archive and this was completed in August by Ms. Catherine Berridge. Thanks are also due to the Group on Diplomacy of the British International Studies Association, and in particular to its Convenor, Dr Lorna Lloyd, for raising the money to put the catalogue on the web. As a result - and despite gaps - the archive is now an extremely useful resource both for diplomatic historians and for historians of diplomacy. For the former, the precise details on the staff of particular missions at particular times which the lists provide is, for example, a good starting point in the search for relevant memoirs and private papers. As for the latter, they reveal many things, especially when compared over time: for example, shifts in the emphasis of the work of missions; the rise of new diplomatic institutions such as the interests section; changes in the importance attached to service attachés judged by the size of the 'defence sections' of embassies and the ranks of those attached to them; and so on.

A second accession was made to the archive in 2009.

The archive is now located in the Special Collections Store of the University of Leicester Library.

To arrange to view the archive, please contact:

Special Collections Enquiries
University of Leicester Library,
PO Box 248,
University Road,

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2056
Fax: +44 (0)116 252 2066
Email: specialcollections@le.ac.uk


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