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British Documents Related to Colonial America : C.O. Documents at Penn

The American colonies that were under British colonial rule were governed and led by policies of the British. Consequently, research on Colonial America often requires access to British government documents of the period. Some of these documents, such as

Colonial Office Documents Available at Penn: C.O. 1

The first editor of the Calendar of State Papers, Colonial brought together all the papers from different sources (dated not later than 1688) that he wanted to print in the Calendar, which was intended to end in 1688. They were placed in date order and now form the series C.O. 1, Colonial Papers: General Series. These are available online through the Colonial State Papers database

Colonial Office Documents Available at Penn: C.O. 5

The same procedure as was used in C.O. 1 was followed for later volumes.  From 1688 until 1807 the records relating to the American colonies are combined in C.O. 5 , America and West Indies: Original Correspondence etc. In spite of its title, C.O. 5 does not include records of the colonies of Canada and the West Indies and includes only one, the Bahamas, which did not come to form part of the United States.

Colonial America

All of C.O.5 is being digitized as part of the above database.

Subject Guide

Nick Okrent's picture
Nick Okrent
Van Pelt Library, room 204