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UN Documentation: Development Research Guide
UN Documentation: Development Research Guide (UN Photo)
Friday 1 June 2018

Topics: Resources

From the Development Decades, to the Millennium Development Goals and the current Sustainable Development Goals.  How has the concept of development changed over the years within the United Nations since 1946?  The Dag Hammarskjold Library has a new research guide on development to help you find out.

The guide UN Documentation : Development is presented in a timeline format, highlighting key documents including major conferences, reports and resolutions. It illustrates how the concept of development within the Organization has evolved with sections for each of the Development Decades, the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals. International years and decades declared by the General Assembly are included to highlight the wide variety of topics that touch on development and some of the strategies the UN has used to raise global awareness of these issues. The guide will continue to be updated to reflect the ongoing work of the Organization on this vital topic.

This guide complements other UN documentation guides the Library has recently published on the UN System, Decolonization and the Trusteeship Council.

Contact us with any questions or comments.

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.

Digitized Commission on the Status of Women Meeting Record
Digitized Commission on the Status of Women Meeting Record
Wednesday 14 March 2018

Topics: Digital Collections

On the occasion of the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library is pleased to announce summary records from the first ten sessions of the Commission (1947-1956) are now available in the UN Digital Library.  The Commission on the Status of Women is currently meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Starting with the summary record of the first meeting held at Lake Success, New York on 10 February 1947, 230 historical summary records have been digitized documenting the proceedings of the Commission throughout the first ten years. These meeting records provide a glimpse into the multi-faceted work of the Commission during the early years. They offer insight into the status of women in different Member States, as well as challenges and progress made by the Commission in advancing the rights of women. 

The team digitizing the sometimes fragile documents noted some of the topics on the agenda during the early years of the UN are still relevant today. For example, E/CN.6/SR.222 includes the agenda point ”Equal pay for equal work [..]” and E/CN.6/SR.223  “Working women, including working mothers, [..] and means for the improvement of their position”.

Due to the significance of this collection of documents, the Library hopes to eventually preserve the entire historic collection of meetings in digital format to make them accessible to a global audience from within the UN Digital Library. At present we can offer a historical perspective to gender equality and the earliest work of the Commission in the advancement of women’s rights.

Other recently digitized series include:

San Francisco Conference
San Francisco Conference (UN Photo/McCreary)
Wednesday 20 December 2017

Topics: Digital Collections

Interested in researching the creation of the United Nations?  How was it established, and why is it organised as it is? How did the five permanent members of the Security Council gain the right to veto, and how was the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice decided? Who wrote and approved the UN Charter?

The San Francisco Conference, formally known as the United Nations Conference on International Organization, was the meeting of 50 nations in the summer of 1945 that established the United Nations. Lengthy discussions and deliberations took place amongst the over 1,500 delegates during these months.  The Conference culminated with the signing of the Charter of the United Nations by the nations on 26 June 1945, with the Charter officially coming into force on 24 October 1945.  

The entire proceedings of the San Francisco Conference have been digitized by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library’s Digitization Team, and can now be accessed globally from the United Nations Digital Library.  The collection is searchable by volume.

Find out more about the UN Charter and the proceedings of the San Francisco Conference via the Dag Hammarskjöld  Library’s UN Charter Research Guide and related FAQs in our Ask DAG service.

The UN Digital Library is freely accessible worldwide.


Questions about the General Assembly? Ask DAG!
Ask DAG: Frequently Asked Questions about the UN
Friday 22 September 2017

Topics: Resources

Where can I find voting information for resolutions? What are the opening dates of the UN General Assembly sessions? Where can I get the electronic version of the "Delegates' Handbook"? Did the General Assembly ever consider UFOs?

Answers to these questions and many more are available via the Dag Hammarskjöld Library’s Ask DAG service, accessible in English, French and Spanish.

Browsing the Ask DAG questions is also a good way to learn more about the Organization. You might find answers to questions you didn’t even know you had! (If you’re still wondering about the UFO question for example, you can find the answer here)

You can browse almost 700 frequently asked questions and find answers about all things UN, including over 300 related to the work of the General Assembly. If you can’t find what you are looking for, submit your question via our Ask DAG service and a librarian will respond to you.

United Nations Digital Library
Thursday 18 May 2017

Topics: Digital Collections, Resources

The United Nations Digital Library (UNDL) is now available! A result of the successful collaboration between the Dag Hammarskjöld Library and the United Nations Office at Geneva Library, the platform provides access to UN-produced materials in digital format free of charge. At the same time it is a major service for the long-term preservation of the Organization’s collective memory incorporating the latest relevant international standards. It is built on open source technology developed by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). We now have the ability to bring together the diverse institutional heritage of the United Nations and preserve it for future generations.

We’d like to thank all the UN libraries who helped with the development of the United Nations Digital Library, in particular the ESCWA and OHCHR libraries for their translation assistance.

What can I find in the United Nations Digital Library?

  • UN documents and open access publications
  • UN voting data and speeches
  • UN maps
  • Content in 6+ languages

Which system features are there?

  • Linked data between related documents such as resolutions, meeting records and voting
  • Refine search by UN body, agency or type of document
  • Simple and advanced search functionality
  • New content alerts

Why a United Nations Digital Library?

  • Modern technology and functionality
  • Improved usability and access
  • Enhanced transparency and preservation


Stay tuned for more United Nations Digital Library News!

Book cover: Charter of the UN
Charter of the UN
Tuesday 16 February 2016

Topics: Resources

Scholars who research Articles of the Charter examine how the activities of the Organization reflect the Charter, and the ways in which the Charter has been interpreted over time.   

The Dag Hammarskjöld Library has a variety of online and print resources to assist with research of the UN Charter.

Library FAQ : Ask DAG

The Library’s Ask Dag FAQ is searchable by subject. Search the keyword “Charter” for more information relating to the UN Charter.

Library Research Guides

Library Print Collection

The last two volumes of the Documents of the United Nations Conference on International Organization are indexes to the complete set of documents, organized by Article of the Charter.