The Past and Future of the Foreign Relations Series

January 27, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm


Washington History Seminar
Historical Perspectives on International and National Affairs

"The Past and Future of the Foreign Relations Series"

Stephen P. Randolph

With comments by Richard Immerman (TEMPLE UNIVERSITY) and Warren Kimball (RUTGERS UNIVERSITY)

In more than 450 volumes produced since its inception in 1861, the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity. FRUS, as it is known, is widely and rightly regarded as exemplary. In recent decades the topics and themes have become increasingly intricate and complex, involving numerous actors outside the State Department and documents originally created in a growing variety of media. Stephen P. Randolph will discuss the series’ past as well as the many challenges facing it today, not least technological developments that threaten the future of the bound volumes familiar to generations of diplomats and historians. What adjustments might be necessary to uphold the tradition of a thorough, accurate, and reliable record?

Stephen Randolph has been head of the Office of the Historian of the Department of State—with the official title The Historian—since 2012. Warren Kimball is a past chairman of the Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, which reviews and makes recommendations on the Foreign Relations series. Richard Immerman is the present chairman of the committee.

Monday January 27, 2014
4:00 p.m. 
Woodrow Wilson Center, 5th Floor Conference Room
Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop

Reservations requested because of limited seating: or 202-450-3209

The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center. It meets weekly during the academic year. See for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as webcasts and podcasts. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations for its support.


5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
Event Speakers List: 
  • The Historian, Department of State
  • The Edward J. Buthusiem Distinguished Faculty Fellow in History and Marvin Wachman Director of Temple University's Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy
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Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Pieter Biersteker // Editorial Assistant
  • Laura Deal // Catalog Specialist
  • Charles Kraus // Program Associate
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant
  • James Person // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project

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Unless otherwise noted:

Meetings listed on this page are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required unless otherwise noted. All meetings take place at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Please see map and directions. Allow time for routine security procedures. A photo ID is required for entry.

To confirm time and place, contact Maria-Stella Gatzoulis on the day of the event: tel. (202) 691-4188. Check this page for the latest updates and notices.