British Documents on the End of Empire

The British Documents on the End of Empire Project (BDEEP) was established in 1987 under the auspices of the British Academy and has been based since its inception at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICwS).

The aim of the project was to publish a series of volumes containing an annotated selection of official documents from the UK National Archives, charting British withdrawal from its colonial territories. Each volume has been edited by a leading scholar in the field of decolonisation and each contains a substantial introduction contextualising the collection. Despite being of enormous potential value to scholars, educationalists and policy-makers, the volumes are relatively little-known outside the academic community. The BDEEP website has been designed to facilitate access to this valuable resource.

The volumes contain a wealth of material on issues such as constitutional reform, economic development and foreign relations which remain remarkably relevant to the work of contemporary policy-makers in the UK and across the Commonwealth. They chart signal moments in the tangled histories of empire and nationalism, decolonisation and anti-colonial mobilisation. Pages on the website also highlight key additional materials, contextual resources, and multimedia links relevant to each volume, providing a rich database for use in teaching and research.

The website is maintained at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, and has been established with the support of the Stationary Office and UK National Archives.