Guidelines of Swiss foreign policy
It is not the aim of Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland to produce a complete record of foreign policy events from the Swiss point of view. Neither can publishing documents show full details of the entire development of Swiss foreign policy. Rather it is an attempt to sketch out the underlying trends, the guidelines and the basic realities of international relations. Most of the texts which are printed are therefore those that reveal a general orientation of Swiss foreign policy or have had a lasting effect on this orientation at a particular moment in time.
From 1848 to 1999
The edition of the Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland (DDS) consists of a first, completed series on the period 1848–1945 (15 volumes) and a second series on the period of the «Cold War» 1945–1989 (12 volumes so far). The annual volumes of the third series on the years 1990–1999 are published yearly, shortly after the expiration of the legally stipulated confidentiality period of 30 years for Federal Files.
Outline of the edition
The documents selected are prepared for publication in printed form. Besides a system of footnotes with references to important documents, related subjects and official publications, the volumes also contain a subject index, organization chart of government agencies active in foreign policy and lists of Swiss diplomatic missions abroad and foreign diplomatic missions in Switzerland.
Printed and digital edition as a unit
The printed and digital publications complement each other. Containing a selection of documents, the volumes provide an overview of the individual subject areas and countries. The documents listed in the printed publication and referred to in the footnotes can be consulted as digital source material on the Internet. With the large number of additional records it contains, the Internet database allows researchers to widen their knowledge.
Provenance of the documents
The majority of the documents are from the Swiss Federal Archives in which the records of the government, parliament and federal ministries are stored.