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UN Library Geneva

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.

Discover our Resources


Library & Archives Registration

Learn how you can request access to the Library.

Library & Archives Mandate


  • A centre for research on multilateralism and an instrument of international understanding
  • Managing the UN Geneva's heritage of collections spanning over 100 years
  • Supporting the documentary, informational, and research needs of staff, diplomats, and external researchers
  • Processing and extracting information from its collections for inclusion in databases and publications
  • Hosting events, talks, and seminars on topics related to the work of the UN


  • Organizing cultural activities at UN Geneva, including exhibitions, concerts and performances, film screenings, cultural conferences, and donations of artworks
  • Providing a forum for interaction among peoples and cultures as a foundation for building peace and prosperity across the world
  • Chairing the UN Geneva Cultural Activities Committee


  • Coordinating UN Geneva archives and records management
  • Custodian of UN Geneva’s heritage of invaluable historical collections spanning over 100 years including League of Nations archives
  • Managing the UN Museum Geneva and artwork and audiovisual collections
  • Coordinating digitization and digital preservation


  • Coordinating the UN Knowledge & Learning Commons together with the Centre for Learning and Multilingualism
  • Generating new opportunities for learning and knowledge exchange at the UN Geneva
  • Encouraging innovation, collaboration, and co-creation on subjects relevant to professionals in the area of multilateralism

General Information

hours simple

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  

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

Official Holidays for 2023 at the United Nations Office at Geneva:

Monday 2 January New Year’s Day (Observed) Thursday 29 June Eid al-Adha
Friday 7 April Good Friday Tuesday 1 August Swiss National Day 
Monday 10 April Easter Monday Thursday 7 September Jeûne genevois
Monday 24 April Eid Al-Fitr (Observed) Monday 25 December Christmas Day
Monday 29 May Whit Monday  


Download UN Geneva 2023 holiday schedule

Guided 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.


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).

Onsite Facilities

Reading rooms and Reference desks

Multiple reading rooms and cyberspaces are open to Library users during UN Geneva business hours, and specialized librarians are on-hand to guide researchers in their work.

Computers in cyberspaces

The Library cyberspaces located on the first and third floors offer access to:

  • Online catalogue
  • Premium databases
  • Periodicals and journals in full text
  • Word processing software and Internet
  • Printers (limit 20 pages per day) and a scanner

Diplomatic cyberspace

Workstations in the designated reading room on the first floor (B.127) are reserved for diplomats and delegates of Member States.


Free wireless Internet connection in all reading rooms allows users to access many of the Library’s subscription databases on their own laptops and handheld devices.

Photocopying and Scanning

Library users are allowed to use, free of charge, the reading room photocopying/scanning machines to reproduce materials from the UN Library Geneva. Only one copy of materials is permitted. Users must respect copyright regulations.

Material in reading rooms

A selection of specialized literature and recent acquisitions is readily available on the shelves in all reading rooms. Books in the stacks are available for consultation through the Loans desk (1st Floor, B.121).