Central Asia, Persia and Afghanistan, 1834-1922: From Silk Road to Soviet Rule
Expires: June 6, 2023
This collection of Foreign Office files explores the history of Persia (Iran), Central Asia and Afghanistan from the decline of the Silk Road in the first half of the nineteenth century to the establishment of Soviet rule over parts of the region in the early 1920s. It encompasses the era of “The Great Game” - a political and diplomatic confrontation between the Russian and British Empires for influence, territory and trade across a vast region, from the Black Sea in the west to the Pamir Mountains in the east. Comprised of correspondence, intelligence reports, agents’ diaries, minutes, maps, newspaper excerpts and other materials from the FO 65, FO 106, FO 371 and FO 539 series, this resource forms one of the greatest existing sets of historical documents relating to this region, offering insights not only into the impact of Great Power politics on the region, but also the region’s peoples, cultures and societies. For an introduction to this collection, click here to open a video interview with Dr Juliette Desplat, Head of Modern Collections at The National Archives.