Upcoming event

The Foreign Office and British Foreign Policy

26 June 2024 - 17:30 pm - 19:00 pm

Online-via Zoom

A new partnership seminar between History & Policy at the IHR and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Historians, which will explore the pastpresent and future of official history.

The series, which will run in 2024, aims to explore the history behind the writing of official history, examine its purpose and value, and ask whether there is a future for such an enterprise in the age of the 20-year rule and Freedom of Information.

We interpret official histories in their widest sense to include, for instance: the Cabinet Office Official History Programme; documentary series like Documents on British Policy Overseas; ‘authorised’ histories, such as those produced by MI5, SIS and GCHQ; histories of the wartime Special Operations Executive; institutional histories such as those commissioned by the Atomic Energy Authority and the BBC; and departmental internal histories subsequently made public, such as Con O’Neill’s Britain’s Entry into the European Community: Report on the Negotiations of 1970-1972.


  • The Foreign Office and Official History: historiography, methods and people (Gaynor Johnson)

  • Official histories of the Berlin Crisis, 1948-1949 in the UK: methodological traditions, ontological challenges (Niaz Cary-Pernon)


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17:30 pm - 19:00 pm

Online-via Zoom
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H&P is based at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, University of London.

We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.

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