Learn about the beta

About the Beta

The Office of the Historian is pleased to present a new version of our public website, history.state.gov. In order to gather feedback and work out any remaining kinks, we are sharing the new site in “beta”—or preview form. Please have a look around and send us your suggestions via email at history@state.gov or on Twitter at @HistoryAtState.

Features of the New Version

  • A mobile device-friendly “responsive” design: Adapts to the size of your device and is readable on any screen size, from smart phone to desktop. (On a computer, try making your browser window smaller, or, on a mobile device, try changing your screen’s orientation; notice how the elements of the page adapt to the new size.) The new design is aligned with U.S. Web Design Standards.
  • A fluid reading experience: Quickly advance forward or backward in publications such as the Foreign Relations series. To try this out, visit this document and select the “previous” or “next” arrows to the left and right of the document window.
  • Improved security: Your connection to the beta site—and all of history.state.gov—is now encrypted. This setting, called HSTS, forces all connections to the site to use a secure, HTTPS connection, ensuring the integrity of the pages you visit and preventing others from tracking which pages you visit or what terms you search for. For more on this standard and its adoption by U.S. Government websites, see https.cio.gov.
  • Improved stability and performance: We have rewritten the entire site from scratch with the goal of delivering results faster and sustaining heavier traffic. The new site is also running on multiple servers in multiple data centers for improved performance under load.
  • Open data, open source code: All of the content and code on this site is available for anyone to download. The core data repositories are available at HistoryAtState on GitHub. The web application is available at the hsg-shell repository. Follow our progress, fork our code, file issues, and send us your pull requests. The hsg-project repository contains all instructions to install a complete copy of the site on your own computer.

Known Issues

In the coming weeks we will be addressing the following notable known issues. Please report any other problems you have noticed.

  • Country Issues articles and the photo gallery from the Southeast Asia conference have not been migrated. (#150)

Follow our progress on these and other issues at our GitHub issue tracker.

Features Planned for Future Releases

Besides these features, we are laying the foundation for new resources on the history of U.S. foreign relations and the Department of State:

  • A unified biographical database of all persons identified in datasets such as the Foreign Relations series, Principal Officers and Chiefs of Mission, Travels of the President and Secretary of State, and Visits of Foreign Leaders.
  • A database of historical country names, for connecting resources about places whose names have changed over time.
  • Chronological sorting of search results from the Foreign Relations series.

Thank you for your interest in our website, and please return for updates.

Last Updated: September 14, 2016.