Office of the Historian Announces the 150th Anniversary of the Foreign Relations of the United States Series

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 21, 2011

The Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State, announces the 150th anniversary of the Foreign Relations of the United States series.

The Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions. The series began in 1861 and now comprises more than 400 individual volumes. The FRUS series provides an indispensible resource for American citizens and others around the world who seek to understand U.S. foreign policy and strategic planning, international relations, economic affairs, and transnational social and cultural developments. The Foreign Relations series represents a longstanding effort to inform the public about governmental decision making while also protecting essential national security interests.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Foreign Relations series, the Office of the Historian at the Department of State is exploring the story behind FRUS to uncover how it became both an invaluable information resource and a leading example of the U.S. Government’s commitment to openness. Our research has shown that the FRUS series played an important role during seminal periods in American history, including the Civil War, the Cold War, and the dawn of the post-Cold War era. We have also discovered many ways that the story of FRUS sheds light on significant issues in U.S. history, including the constitutional separation of powers within the U.S. Federal Government, changing definitions of “transparency” and “national security,” transformations in America’s role in the world, the evolution of national security institutions, and how FRUS has influenced domestic and international politics.

To learn more about our sesquicentennial outreach efforts please contact or visit our website,

PRN: 2011/092