This guide focuses on the United Nations, a global international organization founded in 1945. The UN Charter provides an overview of its purposes and principles, its membership and the six Principal Organs of the UN. For more detailed information on the history of the UN and the UN System see:
- Directory of United Nations System Organizations
- History of the United Nations (concise history and chronology)
- UN at a Glance
- UN Yearbook
The United Nations Library, also called the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, provides a collection of research guides to help users navigate through the UN System and discover key documents and publications.
Model UN Guide: Model UN Research (Bloomsburg University)
League of Nations, predecessor (1919-1946) of the UN:
League of Nations Archives Resource Guide: Archives information and links to digitized documents, useful databases and related collections.
The library's print collection of League documents can be accessed through OMNI by author (use League of Nations), title or keyword search. The League documents are located on Floor 1 of the library in the ZZ LN CODOC call number section.
The United Nations system is made up of the organizations established by the Charter of the United Nations, that is, the United Nations proper, the specialized agencies and a number of programs established by the General Assembly.
UN Specialized Agencies:
UN specialized agencies are international organizations (IGOs) working with the UN, in accordance with relationship agreements between each organization and the UN. For a complete listing of agencies and an overview of their history and how they operate see:
UN Funds and Programs:
UN Funds and Programs are established by a resolution of the UN General Assembly and have a focused mandate. UNICEF and UN-Habitat are examples of "funds and programs". For more information see:
- Directory of United Nations System Organizations: UN Funds & Programmes
- UN Funds, Programmes & Other Entities research guide
Select publication discovery tools:
Most UN IGOs have their own documents search tools, either as standalone databases or on their websites (see examples below). But you can also search OMNI the library's search tool. (tip: use the IGOs name as author)
This guide provides a detailed overview of selected UN documents, publications, databases and websites: UN System documentation guide
Key UN portals to find documents:
UN System SDG Implementation: online database of implementation of the sustainable development goals (also know as the global goals) by the UN System.
Other key databases:
Monthly Bulletin of Statistics Online (MBS): covers current economic and social statistics for more than 200 countries and territories of the world. Includes 55 tables, comprising over 100 indicators, of monthly, quarterly and annual data on a variety of subjects.
UN Comtrade Database is the UN International Trade Statistics Database. This portal provides public access to detailed global trade data with over 3 billion data records since 1962.
UNdata: statistical resources compiled by the United Nations (UN) statistical system and other international agencies. The domains covered are agriculture, crime, education, energy, industry, labour, national accounts, population and tourism.
UN Statistical Division: list of National Statistical Offices worldwide