The United Nations (UN) was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today nearly every country in the world belongs to the UN, and current membership totals 193 countries (as of July 3 2006). The National Library holds an extensive collection of official United Nations publications as well as many publications about the United Nations. This guide contains selected print works only.

Catalogue Search Tips

The Library holds thousands of United Nations publications most of which are not listed individually in the National Library's catalogue. To identify these unlisted publications, consult the United Nations Documents Index or the online version at the United Nations Bibliographic Information System. When the UN symbol and number have been identified, a request can be submitted using the title United Nations Documents. The request should include the title, symbol/number and date of the publication.

To search for works about the United Nations, select the 'Browse alphabetically' option, then 'subjects' . Some examples of Browse/Subjects searches are:

The Union Nations has six main bodies, all playing a specific role. For works about these, select the Browse/Subjects option and search under the following:

Selected Print Resources

These resources must be requested through the catalogue unless otherwise specified.

Indexes to United Nations Publications

United Nations Documents Index. 1950+
Includes a wide variety of material: major reports and studies; resolutions and decisions; draft resolutions; meeting records; and miscellaneous documents. This publication has changed title over the years and each new title has its own record on the catalogue. See the Former Title section of the catalogue record. 

United Nations Documents Index: United Nations and Specialized Agencies Documents and Publications: Cumulated Index 1950-1962. 1974. Listing of documents and public records from the United Nations and specialised agencies such as UNESCO, the World Health Organization and International Labour Organization. RFS 341.1 UNI (Main Reading Room Reference Collection)

United Nations Document Series Symbols. 1946/1977+
Provides access to United Nations documents by series symbol, subject, body responsible for the series symbol, and title of the series.
The Complete Reference Guide to United Nations Sales Publications, 1946-1978. 1982.
Key to the items in the public program of the United Nations. Includes data on diverse topics and statistics of many sorts.

Information About the United Nations and Its Institutions

Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements. 2003.
Comprehensive information on the United Nations and other agencies in the UN system.
A Concise Encyclopedia of the United Nations. 2002.
Concise academic research and political analysis covering the organisation, its complex goals in the post-cold war era and its role in the new millennium.
Yearbook of the United Nations. 1946+
Provides comprehensive coverage of the current activities of the United Nations and its related organisations. The latest issue is held in Reference. S 341.13 YEA
Annual Review of United Nations Affairs. 1949+
Highlights the outstanding themes of the United Nations year in the General Assembly and the Security Council. The latest issue is held in Reference. RF 341.23 ANN
United Nations Handbook. 1967+
Ready reference guide to delegates, diplomats and foreign ministry officials concerned with United Nations matters. This publication has changed title over the years and each new title has its own record on the catalogue. See the Former Title section of the catalogue record. The latest issue is held in Reference. S 341.23 UNI
Great Debates at the United Nations: An Encyclopedia of Fifty Key Issues 1945-2000. 2001.
Summarises and explains fifty United Nations debates in chronological order. RF 341.23 G671 (Main Reading Room Reference Collection)
Historical Dictionary of the United Nations. 1995.
Includes concise but informative entries on dozens of bodies in the United Nations family, as well as many topics and issues that the United Nations has dealt with.

See also: