‘Operation Legacy’: Britain’s Destruction and Concealment of Colonial Records Worldwide

研究成果: Article

3 引用 (Scopus)

抄録

The end of the British Empire in the mid-twentieth century was accompanied by a large-scale rearrangement of sensitive colonial records worldwide. A great number of these records were destroyed and a sizeable portion sent to Britain to be kept secret. This article advances studies of this policy, eventually code-named ‘Operation Legacy’, by reading the ‘migrated archives’ that have been newly discovered and declassified in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) 141 series. It asks where the policy was decided, for what reason and how it was carried out. Sources suggest that the policy was not planned in the Colonial Office in London and delivered to the colonies in a hierarchical fashion, but, rather, significant elements of the policy were developed in the colonial governments overseas in response to each local context. The general idea was to save Britain’s honour and to protect its collaborators. However, the limitations in terms of time and manpower often prevented the officers from putting sufficient thought into the actual screening of the documents. At the same time, some officers demonstrated a level of historical awareness regarding their actions. The episode reminds us that the official mind as it relates to decolonisation is to be understood not only by reference to the highest levels of strategic planning but also in terms of how it worked at the lower levels, in the colonial administrations on the ground.

元の言語English
ページ(範囲)697-719
ページ数23
ジャーナルJournal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
45
発行部数4
DOI
出版物ステータスPublished - 2017 7 4
外部発表Yes

Fingerprint

colonial government
decolonization
manpower
strategic planning
honor
overseas
twentieth century
Commonwealth of Nations
time
policy
Destruction
Colonies
Concealment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

これを引用

@article{37bac4d565d14ee4a76632ee5f0d64a2,
title = "‘Operation Legacy’: Britain’s Destruction and Concealment of Colonial Records Worldwide",
abstract = "The end of the British Empire in the mid-twentieth century was accompanied by a large-scale rearrangement of sensitive colonial records worldwide. A great number of these records were destroyed and a sizeable portion sent to Britain to be kept secret. This article advances studies of this policy, eventually code-named ‘Operation Legacy’, by reading the ‘migrated archives’ that have been newly discovered and declassified in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) 141 series. It asks where the policy was decided, for what reason and how it was carried out. Sources suggest that the policy was not planned in the Colonial Office in London and delivered to the colonies in a hierarchical fashion, but, rather, significant elements of the policy were developed in the colonial governments overseas in response to each local context. The general idea was to save Britain’s honour and to protect its collaborators. However, the limitations in terms of time and manpower often prevented the officers from putting sufficient thought into the actual screening of the documents. At the same time, some officers demonstrated a level of historical awareness regarding their actions. The episode reminds us that the official mind as it relates to decolonisation is to be understood not only by reference to the highest levels of strategic planning but also in terms of how it worked at the lower levels, in the colonial administrations on the ground.",
keywords = "collaboration, FCO special collections, imperial legacy, Memory, official mind, race, secrecy",
author = "Shohei Sato",
year = "2017",
month = "7",
day = "4",
doi = "10.1080/03086534.2017.1294256",
language = "English",
volume = "45",
pages = "697--719",
journal = "Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History",
issn = "0308-6534",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - ‘Operation Legacy’

T2 - Britain’s Destruction and Concealment of Colonial Records Worldwide

AU - Sato, Shohei

PY - 2017/7/4

Y1 - 2017/7/4

N2 - The end of the British Empire in the mid-twentieth century was accompanied by a large-scale rearrangement of sensitive colonial records worldwide. A great number of these records were destroyed and a sizeable portion sent to Britain to be kept secret. This article advances studies of this policy, eventually code-named ‘Operation Legacy’, by reading the ‘migrated archives’ that have been newly discovered and declassified in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) 141 series. It asks where the policy was decided, for what reason and how it was carried out. Sources suggest that the policy was not planned in the Colonial Office in London and delivered to the colonies in a hierarchical fashion, but, rather, significant elements of the policy were developed in the colonial governments overseas in response to each local context. The general idea was to save Britain’s honour and to protect its collaborators. However, the limitations in terms of time and manpower often prevented the officers from putting sufficient thought into the actual screening of the documents. At the same time, some officers demonstrated a level of historical awareness regarding their actions. The episode reminds us that the official mind as it relates to decolonisation is to be understood not only by reference to the highest levels of strategic planning but also in terms of how it worked at the lower levels, in the colonial administrations on the ground.

AB - The end of the British Empire in the mid-twentieth century was accompanied by a large-scale rearrangement of sensitive colonial records worldwide. A great number of these records were destroyed and a sizeable portion sent to Britain to be kept secret. This article advances studies of this policy, eventually code-named ‘Operation Legacy’, by reading the ‘migrated archives’ that have been newly discovered and declassified in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) 141 series. It asks where the policy was decided, for what reason and how it was carried out. Sources suggest that the policy was not planned in the Colonial Office in London and delivered to the colonies in a hierarchical fashion, but, rather, significant elements of the policy were developed in the colonial governments overseas in response to each local context. The general idea was to save Britain’s honour and to protect its collaborators. However, the limitations in terms of time and manpower often prevented the officers from putting sufficient thought into the actual screening of the documents. At the same time, some officers demonstrated a level of historical awareness regarding their actions. The episode reminds us that the official mind as it relates to decolonisation is to be understood not only by reference to the highest levels of strategic planning but also in terms of how it worked at the lower levels, in the colonial administrations on the ground.

KW - collaboration

KW - FCO special collections

KW - imperial legacy

KW - Memory

KW - official mind

KW - race

KW - secrecy

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85017409573&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85017409573&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/03086534.2017.1294256

DO - 10.1080/03086534.2017.1294256

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85017409573

VL - 45

SP - 697

EP - 719

JO - Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History

JF - Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History

SN - 0308-6534

IS - 4

ER -