FRUS Dates Proof of Concept

Thanks to your help, the Office of the Historian web page’s new search interface supports date search, along with other new features not found here. This page continues to work, but at some point soon links here will be start being redirected to the new search engine.

Take me to the new search interface

Since its launch, the FRUS digital archive offered series-wide full-text search, but it lacked date-based search or chronological sorting of search results. This was a highly requested feature, but without reliable machine-readable dates, it was technically infeasible. Instead, we defered this feature and focused on other goals—most importantly, completing the digitization of the print archive. Now, with 532 of the 547 published FRUS volumes encoded in TEI XML, we now have a representative sample of the variety of document dates in FRUS suitable for thorough review and analysis.

In October 2016 the Office’s digital initiatives team launched a project to review dates across the series. In July 2017 the project achieved a major milestone: the completion of dates in all FRUS volumes released before 2017. Now, as of December 9, 2017, 251,124 of the 260,852 documents (96.3% of the archive) contain machine-readable dates in a format suitable for date-based searching and sorting. (Research on the remaining 9,728 documents is ongoing.) Now, we are preparing to integrate this data into the history.state.gov’s search interface. This page is an early attempt at demonstrating the viability of querying the dates. Please give it a try and let us know what you think.

To get started, click on one of the following example queries to see the results: December 7, 1941; the Nixon administration; August 9, 1974, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; “Human Rights” during the Carter administration.

To craft your own query, enter either a single date to find documents from that date, or use two dates to search for all documents between those dates (inclusive). Times can be added for more precision. (A note on time zones: Unless otherwise specified, your query is assumed to be in US Eastern time, though you may experience some slight timezone misalignment that we are investigating.) You can also add a keyword to your search, using the same syntax as described on history.state.gov/search/tips.

As of December 9, 2017, these documents span the ~124 year period between March 31, 1865 and January 8, 1989.

Note: Unless you are running Google Chrome or Mobile Safari, please enter dates below in the format YYYY-MM-DD and times in the format HH:MM (using 24-hour time). In Google Chrome or Mobile Safari, you will be presented with a more user friendly interface.

1. Enter a date to find documents from that date. Specifying a time is optional.

2. Optionally, specify an “end date” to extend your search across a range of dates. Otherwise, the search will return documents from just the “start date.”

3. Optionally, enter keywords to target specific topics or terms. Results of keyword searches can be sorted in chronological order or "relevance" order.


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