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1 Million Records in the UN Digital Library

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Topics: Resources

The Dag Hammarskjöld Library is celebrating the milestone of creating over one million bibliographic metadata records in the UN Digital Library, its online catalogue.

Every year, the UN generates thousands of documents and publications of various types, among them resolutions, Secretary-General’s reports, meeting records, annual reports, agendas, lists of participants, statistical data sets, and policy papers. The Dag Hammarskjöld Library ensures that this vast amount of information and knowledge is not only collected, organized and secured for posterity, but also made easily findable and usable for delegates, UN staff and researchers.

This is achieved through the online provision of structured bibliographic metadata – systematically formatted summaries of each document consisting of access points that are readable and searchable by both computers and humans. Common access points include authors, speakers, agenda items, titles, document symbols, sponsors of a resolution, topical subjects, and voting results.

The Library’s bibliographic metadata set has evolved from early printed indexes that were typed by hand to checklists and card catalogues to today’s online databases and services. Generations of UN librarians have contributed to the process of creating this immense metadata set by applying a painstakingly detailed analysis to each document to capture its content and key features in a standardized, consistent way.

The resulting bibliographic records in the UN Digital Library allow delegates, staff, historians, foreign policy experts, and citizens worldwide to conduct their research for UN documentation in an easy, comprehensive and efficient manner.

Explore the vast amount of UN material in the UN Digital Library.