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Office of the Historian

Foreign Service Institute

Our Mission

The Office of the Historian is responsible, under law, for the preparation and publication of the official documentary history of U.S. foreign policy in the "Foreign Relations of the United States" series. Published since 1861, the series contains documents from numerous government agencies that reveal how U.S. foreign policy was created and executed at the highest levels. Additionally, the Office prepares policy-supportive historical studies, helps train Department personnel through historical components taught in Foreign Service Institute courses, and answers historical research questions from scholars, educators, students, journalists, and other agencies. The Office’s website,, includes a full text archive of the "Foreign Relations" series, as well as numerous publications and datasets on the Department’s institutional history and the history of U.S. foreign relations.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future