A portrait of Sir Anthony Eden (catalogue reference: INF 3/9)

What are these records?

These records are the private office papers of Sir Anthony Eden, during his time as British Foreign Secretary between 1935 and 1946. They are also known as the 'Eden papers'.

The records, held in The National Archives series FO 954, are of both a personal and a political nature and originally they were organised by country, geographical region or subject. They are copies of the original papers.

The original papers are at the University of Birmingham in a collection known as the 'Avon papers'. It contains further records from Eden's time as Foreign Secretary from 1951 to 1955. Eden became First Earl of Avon in 1961. You can search our catalogue for 'Avon papers' and refine your results to 'other archives' and then 'University of Birmingham' using the filters.  

What information do the records contain?

The records consist of correspondence, reports, memoranda and other papers documenting the work of the Foreign Secretary, and are a particularly rich source for the study of diplomacy during the Second World War.

The records include material additional to or expanding on the papers contained in the main run of Foreign Office political records for this period, where the paperwork passing through the private office was not passed on into the departmental registry system.

How do I search the records?

You can search the records in Discovery, our catalogue, by using the search box below.

This is a keyword search so your results will show all instances of the term(s) you searched for within our catalogue descriptions for these records.

  • Use AND to find more than one term in a description
  • Use "quotation marks" to find exact phrases

You may prefer to browse through the Eden papers in FO 800/750-851.

What do the records look like?

Submission for the appointment of Ribbentrop as German Ambassador (FO 954/10a)

Click on the image on the right to view extracts from these records.

Related guidance

The Cabinet and its committees