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Library / Archives

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Library Reading Rooms

United Nations and Specialized Agencies Collections

The Library maintains a complete collection of United Nations documents and publications in all official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish) and a comprehensive collection of materials from the specialized agencies and affiliated bodies. It is the world’s most extensive collection of United Nations archival documents with that of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library in New York. It includes the records and documents of all the meetings of the General Assembly and its Committees, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, and other United Nations agencies and programmes.

The collections from the specialized agencies and worldwide United Nations affiliated bodies include reports, newsletters, bibliographies and monographs selectively acquired by the Library.

Librarians provide guidance for researchers needing assistance in tracking down information about the United Nations and its documentation.

General Information

The General Information reading rooms house reference works such as dictionaries, encyclopaedias, national and worldwide directories, atlases, bibliographies, indexes and bibliographical compilations. Thirty-two computers, two printers and a scanner are also available to users.

Librarians are available in the reading rooms to assist users with their research.

Recent Acquisitions

The Library receives more than 1,500 new books per year. Recent acquisitions are assembled with the aim of supporting the programmes and activities of the Organization such as international law, international relations, political science, humanitarian affairs, human rights, disarmament, economic and social development, etc.

Users can browse the Recent Acquisitions Collection and borrow or consult the material in the Library.


Legal and Political Collections

The collections contain books and publications covering international relations and national and international law (dictionaries, encyclopaedias, bibliographies, yearbooks, law digests, treaty series, law codes, and monographs). Six computers and a photocopying machine are also available to users.

A reference librarian provides guidance in retrieving information in the legal and political sciences.

Economic, Social, and Statistical Collections

The reading room holds books and publications on economic and social topics such as business, finance, trade, transnational corporations, transport, energy, environment, population, status of women, etc.

The reading room also houses the latest official statistical publications from most countries of the world and from many intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

Periodical and Newspaper Collections

The Library receives more than 4,000 periodicals and 80 newspapers from all over the world. Approximately 1,200 periodicals of general interest and 30 newspapers are displayed in the Periodical and Newspaper Collections Reading Room. Only current year issues are kept here. Back issues are stored in the Library stacks and can be obtained by request to the Loan Desk (Telephone number: +41 (0)22 917 41 84).

It is also possible to consult more than 500 periodicals and international newspapers via the Internet. Six computers have been installed in the reading room for this purpose with the possibility of printing the articles. A photocopying machine is also available to users.

Librarians are available to assist researchers needing help in tracking down periodicals.

Related Information

Events & Meetings