Foreign and Commonwealth Office Pamphlets

(Collection description created in 2002. Links checked 2009)


Main Library, University of Manchester John Rylands University Library

Publication date range

1545 to 1949. The majority of pamphlets date from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Number of items


Description of the collection

The Pamphlet Collection of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is one of the most historically significant parts of the former Foreign and Commonwealth Office Library. It consists of 301 volumes of pamphlets collected by the Foreign Office and 359 volumes from the old Colonial Office. The Foreign Office material consists largely of pamphlets acquired by British ambassadors overseas, and sent back to London as being of value for the formulation of policy. Thus the collection is rich in material from South America (where the British government was the formal arbitrator in boundary disputes), the Near East (both the last century of the Turkish Empire and the growth of Zionism), and the various great European "Questions", from the Congress of Vienna through to German material published during the First World War and smuggled out through Switzerland. The Colonial Office pamphlets are chiefly local imprints - including, for example, unique early Australiana. A substantial proportion of the pamphlets - particularly those of the Foreign Office - are believed to be otherwise unrepresented in libraries in the United Kingdom.

Language(s) of the material

The material is in a total of 31 languages. The vast majority (approximately 75%) are in English, the majority of the remainder are in French or German.


The collection is held in closed access at JRULM's Main Library site.. It would be helpful if those wishing to consult pamphlets from this collection could contact the Library in advance of their visit. It may be possible to provide photocopies of certain pamphlets, to enable users to access the collection through the inter library loans system. Further information about the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Pamphlets collection can be obtained from Sandra Bracegirdle, tel. 0161 275 3847 or email [email protected].

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These pamphlets have been digitised

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