The UN Library & Archives Geneva undertakes in-house and cooperative digitization projects to make the historical collections accessible online. It also digitizes smaller portions of its collections and individual documents subject to researchers’ request and availability of resources.
UNITED NATIONS HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS
Institutional Memory Section
The entire League of Nations archives, League Official Documents, Universal Declaration of Human Rights preparatory materials, Sean Lester diaries, and Bertha von Suttner Papers are available online on the UN Archives Geneva platform.
UN Official Documents digitization programme
The UN Library & Archives Geneva has a programme to digitize official documents of the United Nations dating from 1946-1993 in all six official languages. The digitized documents, mainly Security Council, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, and Trusteeship Council Official Records, are made available to the public in the Official Document System (ODS) and in the UN Digital Library. This work is done in collaboration with the Dag Hammarskjöld Library in New York.
Individual UN documents may be digitized on-demand at the request of clients. However, please note that priority will be given to the regular digitization programme. For more information, contact us at: https://ask.unog.ch.
TOTAL DIGITAL ACCESS TO THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS ARCHIVES PROJECT (LONTAD)
In 2017, the Institutional Memory Section of the UN Library Geneva launched a major five-year project (2017-2022) to digitize the entire League of Nations archives, Total Digital Access to the League of Nations Archives (LONTAD).
LONTAD will ensure digital and physical preservation and state-of-the-art free online access to around 15 million pages, or almost three linear kilometres of archival documents of the League of Nations (1919-1946). The League was the first global international organization aiming at the establishment of peace and cooperation and the predecessor of the United Nations.
The project will result in 250TB of data, over 500,000 units of descriptive metadata, rehousing and conservation of all physical originals according to modern standards, and improved climate control and fire prevention.
The LONTAD project is made possible through a generous donation of a private Swiss foundation.
To follow the project’s progress and to access currently digitized data, including the League photo collection, visit the Total Digital Access to the League of Nations Project (LONTAD) website.
Projects with Member States
The Institutional Memory Section and the Permanent Mission of Georgia signed a digitization agreement on 3 February 2012. In February 2015, the National Archives of Georgia sent two specialists to Geneva to digitize roughly 25,000 pages of material from the private papers collection of Khariton Chavichvili (1886-1975), a prominent Georgian diplomat and journalist.
The Chavichvili papers provide a unique window into the history of Georgia during the Interwar Era and beyond. These archives consist of Chavichvili’s correspondence and manuscripts, as well as books and other publications about Georgia, U.S.S.R., and international relations.
Over 25,000 pages of League of Nations archival materials related to Azerbaijan and its neighbouring countries were digitized as part of a collaboration project between the Institutional Memory Section of the United Nations Library Geneva and the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The project agreement was signed in December 2016, and the handover of the digitized documents took place in September 2017.
The collection includes a diverse set of documents, including official correspondence, Caucasus countries’ applications for League of Nations membership including maps and surveys on culture and politics, and the League’s official documents related to Azerbaijan and neighbouring countries.
The project, entitled “Digitization of the League of Nations Archives Related to Azerbaijan 1919-1946,” is aimed at assisting the research activities of the National Library of Azerbaijan and at further improving regional dialogue and cooperation in the Caucasus region.
The Institutional Memory Section and the Permanent Mission of Lithuania signed a digitization agreement on March 2014.
Early 2015, over 35,000 pages of archives relating to Lithuania’s activities at the League of Nations (1920-1946) were digitized.
These unique and significant materials provide evidence for a critical period in the history of Lithuania.
Projects with Partners
World Digital Library
Highlights of the League of Nations Archives; in collaboration with the Library of Congress (US government) and UNESCO, complete and available online at http://www.wdl.org
League of Nations archives concerning minorities, including the High Commissioner for Refugees (Jewish and Other) Coming from Germany
Approximately 40,000 pages of archives materials, in collaboration with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum; complete and available online on the UN Archives Geneva platform.