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
Tools, Collections and Services
Library & Archives Registration
Learn how you can request access to the Library.
Library & Archives Mandate
THE LONGEST-SERVING UNITED NATIONS LIBRARY
- 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
COORDINATING UN GENEVA CULTURAL DIPLOMACY
- 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
PRESERVING THE INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY OF UN GENEVA
- 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
COMMON SPACE FOR KNOWLEDGE AND LEARNING
- 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
Monday - Friday
8.30 a.m. - 5.30 p.m.
The Library & Archives is closed on weekends and UN Geneva official holidays, as well as during our yearly inventory in late December.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the Library & Archives reading rooms are temporarily closed to the public.
Official Holidays for 2020 at the United Nations Office at Geneva are:
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.
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
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).