Cambridge Archive:
Vietnam under French Rule

(1919 – 1946, 2 Volumes, 3556 Pages)


Since 1887, the region known as Vietnam, comprising Tonkin (North Vietnam), Annam, and Cochinchina, has been part of French Indochina, under French rule rather than British territory. However, during different phases of the tumultuous 20th century, the British government unintentionally influenced the future of Vietnam due to various covert events.

This archive begins with a petition submitted by a person named ‘Nguyen Ai Quoc’ (Ho Chi Minh) to the British during the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. It later witnesses Vietnam’s transition from one period of turbulence to another, as it navigates challenges of nationalism and the threat posed by Japan, including the British overseeing the withdrawal of Japanese forces from Vietnam in 1946 and the subsequent return of French authority.


  • Precious documents sourced from departments such as the Prime Minister’s Office, the Cabinet Office, and the Colonial Office of the United Kingdom.
  •  Exploring the national struggle under French colonial rule from the unique perspective of the British government.
  •  Providing researchers with primary historical sources on the Vietnamese national struggle.
  •  Each document is accompanied by individual annotations, organized chronologically and thematically, guiding readers through history.