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Library Collections

UN Geneva is an active knowledge hub for the international community and researchers on multilateralism and international cooperation. Consequently, its library and archives open their doors not only to UN staff and members of the diplomatic corps but to researchers, students and practitioners from all walks of life.  

The Organization offers opportunities to exchange knowledge, encourages cooperation, innovation and inspires new ideas through the Library and Archives collections, events, cultural activities, and the Museum.

 

Library

A library reading room with work desks and book shelves

 

At the UN Library & Archives Geneva, a world of knowledge awaits. This historic institution has pioneered research and international understanding since its founding in 1919 as the Library of the League of Nations.

In the library’s sky-lit reading rooms, sift through rich historical texts, articles, archives and UN resources, participate in engaging dialogues or storytelling sessions, and delve into the online resources accessible on site to the international community and researchers.

Archives

Archive boxes in a shelf

 

Records are information created, received, and maintained by the Organization that provide evidence of an activity, decision, or transaction. Archives are records that have been assessed as having enduring value and are no longer used for official business, which at the United Nations is usually after 20 years of the closure of the file. Archival Fonds and Collections include those from UN Geneva Archives, League of Nations, International Peace Movements, and private papers. 

UN Museum

A photo of Kofi Annan next to the Nobel Peace Price medal which he received in 2001in

 

When the League of Nations was dissolved in 1946, the Palais des Nations and its other assets were transferred to the United Nations. In homage to its predecessor, in 1947, the League of Nations Museum was established to showcase most of the League's documents and artefacts. Renamed as the UN Museum Geneva in 2015, the space now highlights the history of the League of Nations and the United Nations. 

The League of Nations

History

 

The United Nations has a history of more than 75 years. But the story doesn't begin there: known as the “predecessor of the United Nations”, the League of Nations (1920 – 1946) was an intergovernmental organization with the aim “to promote international cooperation and to achieve international peace and security ”.

Publications

A range of different UN Publications

 

Read key publications of the United Nations such as the UN Charter or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our publications section also gives access to current published works of the UN Geneva, including the Office's annual report. 

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Opening Hours

Monday – Friday 
8.30 a.m. - 5.30 p.m.  

Find more information on our virtual and on-site services on this page. To reserve a seat in one of the reading rooms for conducting research, please make an appointment by contacting our virtual service desk at https://ask.unog.ch.  

The Library & Archives is closed on weekends, UN Geneva official holidays and for the end-of-year break. 

Official Holidays for 2022 at the United Nations Office at Geneva:

Monday 3 January New Year’s Day Monday 11 July Eid al-Adha
Friday 15 April Good Friday Monday 1 August Swiss National Day (Observed)**
Monday 18 April Easter Monday Thursday 8 September Jeûne genevois
Monday 2 May Eid Al-Fitr (Observed)* Monday 26 December Christmas Day
Monday 6 June Whit Monday  

 

Download UN Geneva 2022 holiday schedule

Location

Find the Library & Archives

The Library & Archives are located inside the United Nations in Geneva, in Building B of the Palais des Nations (see the map of the Palais). 

Visitors must enter through the Peace Gate (Please read our information about the temporary Pregny Gate closure and access to the Palais des Nations).

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Guided tours

Tours

Guided tours of the Library, Archives and the Museum can be organized upon request, including for external visitors and
groups. Visitors can request separate visits of the three services, or any combination of the visits.

Visits can be organized in several languages.