Government Departments: Special Collections

House of Lords written question – answered on 8 November 2013.

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Photo of Lord Lester of Herne Hill Lord Lester of Herne Hill Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will publish the inventory of the contents of the special collection of Foreign and Commonwealth Office files that have not been transferred to the National Archive.

Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Senior Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Jointly with the Department for Communities and Local Government), Senior Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Faith and Communities) (also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

A high-level inventory of the special collection files (around 600,000 files outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) corporate file plan) was published on the FCO website last year. These records relate to the work of the FCO and were either created by the FCO or its predecessors (such as the Colonial Office) or by other organisations. A more detailed inventory was published on 1 November on the website ( This inventory also provides a list of record series created by FCO departments and overseas posts which are held in the FCO archive.

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