December 3, 2011 mark[ed] the 150th anniversary of the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, the largest and most comprehensive series of its type in the world. First published in 1861, the series has become a leading example of governmental openness and embodies the U.S. Government’s commitment to responsible transparency. Over the past 150 years, FRUS evolved to become the official documentary history of U.S. foreign policy decision-making and major diplomatic activity. The series is prepared according to scholarly best practices under a 1991 Congressional mandate for “thorough, accurate, and reliable” coverage and timely release.
To mark the 150th anniversary of the FRUS series, the Office of the Historian at the U.S. Department of State has delved into the story of how the series evolved over time. This research engages many important themes in U.S. history, including the transformation of government institutions, changing conceptions of national security and transparency, and the increasingly important role that the United States has played in the world. Learn about the history of the series; research posts, videos, and original documents; as well as outreach efforts from the Office of the Historian.