Collection of documents The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-1916 or The Blue Book (because of the color of its cover) is one of the monumental sources on the Armenian Genocide. The work was published 100 years ago by James Bryce, a British statesman, lawyer, historian, and Arnold Toynbee, a famous English historian, and introduced to the UK Parliament in 1916.
The collection consists of over 158 documents on deportation and massacres (bulletins, reports, eyewitness accounts, letters, etc. of the foreigners working in the Ottoman Empire). The documents are arranged by regions and settlements of Western Armenia and other areas of Ottoman Turkey.
Diplomats, employees of humanitarian organizations, missionaries from the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland and other countries recorded in their bulletins and letters what they witnessed during 1915-1916 in different parts of the Ottoman Empire. There is a huge material on role of Germany in the implementation of the Armenian Genocide.
The authors of this collection paid much attention also to the authenticity of the received messages. Before publication Bryce send the collection to a number of prominent intellectuals for their opinion. British historian Christopher Walker points out that this work has a permanent place in the study of the Armenian Question, as provides irrefutable evidences about 1915-1916 events.
In 2005 The Blue Book was published in Turkish, but the publishers were sued. Several attempts to send The Blue Book to the Turkish Parliament failed and the distribution of the book in Majlis was prevented.
In 2005 the Turkish MPs asked the British House of Commons "to clarify the issue with The Blue Book". The British Foreign Office through its Ambassador to Turkey Peter Westmacott declared that it refuses to discuss the Turkish appeal, because the materials "in the book were not refuted and the reputation of the historians James Brice and Arnold J. Toynbee cannot be questioned."
“These evidences suggest that what has happened is an attempt to eliminate an entire nation, without distinction of age or sex."
“According to the Governmental decree, the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire was deported to the most remote and dangerous peripheries. Some were killed at the very beginning, others – on the road, some died after reaching the necessary places. The Ottoman Government cannot deny these facts”.