The State Documents Department and the Commemoration Department publish two compilations of documents: the "Documents on the Foreign Policy of Israel" series, and the series commemorating Israel's late presidents and prime ministers. The latter include historical documents, prefaces by the editor and numerous photographs. The documents published in these two series have been declassified in accordance with the Archives Law, according to the usual procedures at the Israel State Archives.
The department is an integral part of the work done at the Archives, and aims to bring to the attention of the public a part – albeit a small one – of the rich collection of documents stored in the different departments of the Archives, in the Audio-Visual Department and in the Oral Documentation unit.
Documents on the Foreign Policy of Israel
• The "Documents on the Foreign Policy of Israel" series was first published in 1979. The series presents the reader with a selection of the diplomatic and political records of the State of Israel and of the Jewish Agency, the political body that preceded it, since the end of World War II.
• The series is similar to the models used by other countries for the publication of state records, for example the United States, Britain and France. Most documents originate from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister's Office, but some come from other sources.
• The documents are accompanied by notes, prefaces and indexes. The aim of the volumes is to explain and clarify the main events of the year or years covered and the set of considerations, options and decisions involved in Israel's foreign relations and state security policy.
The documentation is in its original language (mainly English in the early years). Each volume has a companion volume in English, containing translated summaries of the Hebrew documents and a full translation of the notes, prefaces and indexes in the Main Volume.
• Selection and editing of the documents to be included is carried out by a team of expert editors. Team members have free access to all sections of the Archives, including those that have not yet been declassified for public viewing. They collect, sort and select the documents for publication in the different volumes of the series, and prepare the prefaces and notes according to their professional judgment.
• The volumes dealing with 1947-1960 are organized in chronological order. Each volume typically covers one or two years, except for Volume 3 which deals with the armistice agreements with the Arab states in 1949 and Volume 12 which deals with the Sinai Campaign of October-November 1956 and its aftermath.
• The volumes dealing with 1961-1967 will be organized by subject and each volume will cover a predefined topic or geographical area during those years. The possibility of issuing these volumes in electronic format only is currently being considered.