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Description found in Archives

CO 694. Colonies General, Register of Secret Correspondence [textual record (chiefly microform)]. 

Series consists of



Place of creation

No place, unknown, or undetermined

2 microfilm reels : negative & positive.
0.05 m of textual records : photostats.

Scope and content

Colonial Office 694 consists of registers for some of the "secret" correspondence entering the Colonial Office between 1865 and 1928. Microfilm copies of the first four volumes of CO 694 have been acquired. This material is available on microfilm reels B-1660 and B-1668. The following list gives the Index Room Number assigned by the PRO to each volume of CO 694, as well as the years covered by the registers: CO 694, vol. 1, Number 17976, Years 1865-1869; CO 694, vol. 2, Number 17977, Years 1870-1873; CO 694, vol. 3, Number 18765, Years 1874-1885; CO 694, Number 18766, Years 1885-1898. Volumes 1 to 4 follow the basic classification and registry procedures. However, the registers are divided into two categories: "Despatches" and "Offices". Further, the "Offices" section does not have correspondence from each office grouped together in the registers, but instead mingles the letters from the several offices in the chronological order of their receipt at the Colonial Office. Volumes 2 to 4 contain a list of the "Registry Numbers of Papers" relating to secret correspondence either at the beginning or end of each volume. This list shows which numbers were used for the "secret" correspondence for any year that the correspondence was not registered in the central registry. These numbers may either revert to number 1 for each new year or remain continuous, depending on the current practice of the office for any particular year. These lists probably do not appear in volumes of registered correspondence after 1899 when "secret" correspondence began to be entered in the central registry numeration. In the early years of these registers, no notation was made to indicate the "colony" class to which the correspondence applied. However, from 1872 onward the colony was entered and thus may be an aid in determining where the actual correspondence is likely to be found (either in the applicable volumes of CO 537 or in the appropriate "colony" or "subject" classes, depending on the peculiarities of the "secret" correspondence).

Textual records: microform
90: Open
Textual records
Microfilm reel B-1668
90: Open
Textual records
Microfilm reel B-1600
90: Open
Textual records
90: Open
from 1 to 4
90: Open
Former archival reference no.

Textual records Finding Aid No. 90, British Records on Microfilm, lists the material on each reel of microfilm. MSS0090 90 (Electronic)

Textual records Finding aid no. 651 provides a more detailed analysis of the use of the class CO 694 as well as a shelf list for CO 537 where much of the correspondence registered in CO 694 for the period 1865 to 1898 is likely to be found. MSS0651 90 (Electronic)

Additional information

Since the meaning attached to the words "secret" and "confidential" varied over time, no consistency existed in the types of correspondence entered in the "secret" registers during different time periods. See CO 537 for more information on these designations.

Subject heading

1. Great Britain. Colonial Office - Registers, 1865-1898.
2. Colonies. Great Britain
3. Colonies. Grande-Bretagne
4. Colonies Administration. Great Britain
5. Colonies Administration. Grande-Bretagne


Other system control no.