The Confidential U.S. State Department "Special" or "Lot" Files represent a rich source for students of American foreign policy. Focusing on political affairs, economic conditions, and policy positions, these documents complement the State Department Central Files and form a foundation for in-depth research on international affairs. Maintained by various State Department offices, bureaus, committees, and individuals, the Special Files hold a vast amount of unique material not preserved in the Central Files. The Special Files provide an especially valuable source for working papers, annotated memoranda, verbatim transcripts, drafts, and other informal material. Further, the Special Files often contain documents State Department officials considered too sensitive or important to forward to the general Central Files.