The Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series has recently been digitized, making the process of accessing historical government documents much simpler. Thanks to a collaborative digitization project between the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries and the University of Illinois at Chicago Libraries, as well as contributions from academic and public libraries across the U.S., over 450 FRUS volumes are now available with the click of your mouse.
Accessible through the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections (UWDC) website, the FRUS series contains official government documents pertaining to foreign policy decisions dating from the Administration of Abraham Lincoln in 1861 all the way to the year 1960. Any missing volumes are added as they are acquired and processed. The digital collection allows you to browse the entire series chronologically or enter a search term for a specific subject within the series.
And to make the process even easier and more mobile, The Office of the Historian at the U.S. Department of State has recently announced an e-book initiative which will make the FRUS series freely accessible as downloadable e-books for devices such as the Kindle and iPad. The initiative is currently in its pilot phase; so far there are 109 publications in e-book format available for download through The Office of the Historian website. The Office encourages the public to download these FRUS volumes and to provide feedback to help improve the e-book project. The amount of FRUS volumes available as e-books will expand as the project moves forward and improvements are made.
The main goal of these digitization efforts is to enhance public accessibility to important and useful information resources by lowering the cost of digitization and increasing their production.
- Browse the entire FRUS series HERE.
- For more information about the FRUS e-book initiative and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, please visit: http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/ebooks