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Index to Proceedings 65th Anniversary
Index to Proceedings 65th Anniversary
Friday 18 May 2018

Topics: Resources

What is the Index to Proceedings?

The Index to Proceedings is prepared by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library in New York.  It is a series of publications about the documentation of the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council. 

Anyone who has ever undertaken historical research on the United Nations has likely found the Indexes to be their saving grace.  The Indexes are one of the few organized sources of information since the establishment of the UN.  They offer a path into what really happened by detailing who spoke when, about what, how resolutions were voted on, and how subjects were treated and considered.

The Index to Proceedings of the General Assembly was first published in 1953 and covered the 5th regular session, held in 1950-1951. This year, the Index to Proceedings celebrates its 65th anniversary.

How is the Index to Proceedings created?

The Indexes are produced by a small team within the Library, responsible for painstakingly going through all the documentation of each session or year by body to extract the metadata (including voting data and speeches) to compile the publications.  

The full collection of the Index to Proceedings are available on the Dag Hammarskjöld Library’s website.  Learn more about the Indexes in our related Ask DAG  FAQs on the topic.

Second Floor Reading Room
Second Floor Reading Room (UN Photo)
Thursday 1 March 2018

Topics: Learning

The Second Floor Reading Room has gone through many transformations since 1961. For decades it was called the Woodrow Wilson Reading Room because it housed the U.S. president’s papers about the League of Nations.  Until 2008, it operated as the UN reference collection for the Library and contained the most consulted UN documents and publications.  It was closed in 2008 to accommodate the media outlets covering the UN during the Capital Master Plan. Construction damaged the ceiling and made it necessary to refurbish the room before it could be used.  It reopened in November 2016 and has been designated as a silent study space primarily for delegates and UN staff.

The Dag Hammarskjold Library was dedicated to the second Secretary-General after his death in 1961. At the time, the Library Building was written up in architectural magazines which described the room in glowing detail:

“All is movement in the slope of the wall and undulating ceiling [of the Reading Room]. The informal planking of the Idaho white pine ceiling and wall contrasts with the dark African wenge wood of the card catalog which follows the sloping line of the wall. The end walls are of Peruvian travertine…” Interiors Magazine, 1963

With the coming of modern information systems, the card catalog is now empty but the room is filled with the passion for learning and creativity so often attributed to the late Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld.

Learn more about the history of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library: https://library.un.org/content/our-mandate-history.