Collection News / Penn Libraries

European Colonialism in the Early 20th Century: digitized US State Department records

Gale Cengage’s Archives Unbound has released four collections of online digitized US State Department files covering European colonies in Africa as part of its European Colonialism in the Early 20th Century series:

These collections are reproduced from the US National Archives and Records Administration record group 59, General Records of the Department of State, being the decimal (subject) files on internal affairs of the European countries – the African colonies are included as a small portion of these large files.

State Department decimal files consist mostly of instructions to and despatches from diplomatic and consular officials; the despatches are often accompanied by enclosures. Also included in these records are notes between the Department of State and foreign diplomatic representatives in the United States, memorandums prepared by officials of the Department, and correspondence with officials of other Government departments and with private firms and persons.

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