This guide lists essential sources in print and online for researching the law-related activities of the League of Nations and the United Nations. NOTE: Main tabs list general sources that might not be repeated in the dropdown tabs.
Last Updated: Oct 5, 2017
UN Documents, publications & search engines
Free, searchable PDFs of UN documents (no press releases or publications), eventually in all official languages. Updated daily. See the home page for a description of the ODS contents.
- How to search the ODS, Dag Hammarskjöld Library website
- UN Enterprise Search (Beta)
Search in the Official Document System (ODS) and more than 100 un.org websites i.e. www.un.org, the League of Nations archive,
- Webpages of the main UN organs
Agenda, press releases, resolutions, documents.
- Law-related publication, UN Codification Division
Catalogs of the UN libraries in New York and Geneva. Use it to verify titles and to identify additional materials on your topic. Can also be used to find voting records and speeches.
- DAG Repository
Collection of digital materials published by the United Nations, current and historical documents, publications, archives, multimedia matierals, and maps. IN DEVELOPMENT. See page for current contents.
- United Nations Collection, HeinOnline
- Readex AccessUN--United Nations Index
Search for UN documents by subject, title, UN document symbol, etc. AccessUN does not contain the full text of U.N. documents, but can be used to identify U.N. documents, including those documents reproduced in microfiche (Law Library Media Center, 1946-2005). The microfiche is arranged by Year and then by U.N. document symbol.
- United Nations Documents Depository, Bobst Library 6th floor
The NYU Bobst Library has U.N. documents in paper.
- Journal of the United Nations
The daily Journal contains a list of very recent documents and their document symbols.
- Index to Proceedings, United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library
The Index to Proceedings (GA, ECOSOC and SC) can be used to identify meetings by subject and speeches by subject and speaker's name. Also includes information on votes and a list of documents issued during the session.
- Index to Proceedings of the General Assembly
- Index to Proceedings of the Security Council
- Index to Proceedings of the Economic and Social Council
"A document is a text submitted for examination to a principal or subsidiary organ of the United Nations for consideration by it, usually in connection with an item on its agenda." U.N. Doc. ST/AI/189/Add.3/Rev.2 UN official documents are also referred to as working, sessional, masthead, or mimeographed documents. They can include reports, letters, draft resolutions, individual final resolutions, individual meeting records, budgets, and other materials, and they may or may not be republished in a compiled volume of official records.
QUICK TIP for finding online UN documents by symbol:
Paste this url into your browser: http://undocs.org/[your document symbol].
"The term United Nations publication refers to any written material which is issued by or for the United Nations to the general public, normally under the authorization of the Publications Board." U.N. Doc. ST/AI/189/Add.3/Rev.2
Surveys of UN activities in this guide has a list of law-related United Nations publications.