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Library Collections

The UN Library & Archives Geneva offers access in print and electronic format to a comprehensive collection of United Nations documents and publications, as well as to materials of the specialized agencies and the United Nations affiliated bodies. The collection, comprising more than 4 million print items in the six languages of the Organization, covers all aspects of the work of the United Nations since 1946.

The Library collects books, periodicals and electronic resources to support the programmes and activities of the United Nations Organization on: international law, human rights, multilateralism, diplomacy and international relations, disarmament, sustainable development, humanitarian affairs, refugees, economic and social development, environment, etc. It offers one of the richest collections in Europe in the fields of law, politics, and social sciences.

New externally published materials are acquired with the aim of providing a balanced representation of themes in the collection, as well as geographical and linguistic coverage.

Accessing our collections

Books, Journals and Articles

Use Global Search to retrieve material available in the Library print and electronic collections, including UN publications.

UN Documents

Use the UN Digital Library to start a search for UN documents. Several tools are available to efficiently search for UN resources, find our top recommendations and research guides at: 

Open Access Resources

Easily find open access resources from Global Search, databases and websites on our dedicated page:


Access our databases within the Palais des Nations, or from the Library’s public workstations.

Consult our Library Services page to learn more.

Collection Highlights
  • United Nations and Specialized Agencies - The Library houses the largest United Nations documents collection in Europe. It also maintains a comprehensive collection of materials of the specialized agencies and the United Nations affiliated bodies.
  • Legal and Political Collections - The collections contain books and publications covering international relations, national and international law (dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, yearbooks, law digests, treaty series, law codes, and monographs).
  • Economic, Social and Statistical Collections - The collections hold books and publications on economic and social topics such as business, finance, trade, transnational corporations, transport, energy, environment, population, women's advancement, etc. The collections also contain statistical publications from most countries of the world and from many intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
  • UNHCR/Refugee Studies Collection – In 2008, following the closure of the UNHCR Library, their highly specialized and precious collection was transferred to the UN Library & Archives Geneva, where it continues to be accessible. The Library regularly purchases books and electronic resources to support refugee studies and the work of UNHCR staff.
  • Periodical and Newspaper Collections - The Library receives more than 1,000 periodicals and 80 newspapers from all over the world. The Library also subscribes to approximatively 70,000 electronic journals and newspapers, accessible via the Library workstations and to UN staff members directly from their office computers.
  • Rare books collection - As the former library of the League of Nations, the collections also include notable books on peace from the pre-League period (XVIth-XIXth century).