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United Nations: Historic Print

Guide to information created by the UN and the UN Family of Organizations


Most current UN documents and publications are online, but historic content has not all been digitized. To find older UN publications (books or serials) search in Oskicat by the name of the publication or UN agency.  The only comprehensive digital index to UN documents is Access UN which indexes most UN content back to 1945. It is not a full-text database so once you have a citation you may need to find the item in print.

UN digitized content is being added continually to the UN Digital Library. The UC Berkeley libraries have historic UN documents on microfiche from 1984. Prior to that all UN documents with the exception of Official Records are at NRLF. Please contact the International Documents Librarian if you need help accessing this material.

Historical Indexes

The following indexes provide access to historical content of each of four principal organs that is not online. These are detailed indexes to the Official Records for each organ, including subject, speaker, and country/corporate name indexes.

Index to Proceedings of the Economic & Social Council Doe Ref JX1977.A3653 I55. (1952-) 
Index to Proceedings of the General Assembly  Doe Ref JX1977. A3653 I56 (1950/51-) 
Index to Proceedings of the Security Council  Doe Ref JX1977. A3653 I57 (1964-) 
Index to Proceedings of the Economic & Social Council  Doe Ref JX1977.A3653 I55 (1952-)
Index to Proceedings of the Trusteeship Council Doe Ref JX1977. A3653 I58 (1952-) 

Check List of United Nations Documents.  Doe Ref JX1977.A12 A25 (1946-1949). The very earliest finding aid to UN documents. 

United Nations Documents Index. Doe Ref  JX1977 A12A3. (1950-1973)  First general index to UN masthead documents, sales publications, and official records.

UNDEX.  (1970-1978). This series of indexes served as the general index to UN publishing between the Documents Index and UNDOC. Issued in three series: a subject index, country index, and list of documents issued.

UNDOC: Current Index.  Doe Ref JX1977 A12A35 (1979-1996). The most comprehensive official UN index for publications of the UN, including masthead documents, sales publications, and official records. Since 1984, monthly paper issues are superseded by annual cumulations on fiche.

Documents of the United Nations Conference on International Organization.  Doe Ref JX1976.4 .A3. Text and index to complete proceedings of the UN Conference. 

Yearbook of the United Nations. Serves as de facto index for most important UN content, although not comprehensive.  Important documents each year are cited, arranged topically. The online version goes back to 1946 and can be searched.

Official Records

The Official Records of the United Nations contain a wide range of documents, including final versions of meeting records, resolutions, decisions, and key documents presented to meeting participants.

They also include regular reports on the activities of subsidiary organs or agencies whose activities they are responsible for coordinating. Historical Official Records are indexed  in the various Indexes to the Proceedings as well as AccessUN

Prior to 1985, the Official Records for each principal organ were bound as a set. The call numbers are provided below.

Once a reference to an Official Record citation is found, you may wish to consult the appropriate finding guide below to determine which volume in the sets above contains the document in question. The sets may also be browsed. 

Since 1985, all Official Records have been individually cataloged and entered on separate records. They can be located by searching Oskicat under the name of the agency or body as a corporate author search.