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Government Publications - Intergovernmental Organizations

Search the UN Digital Library Collection


The UN Digital Library (formerly UNBISnet)  includes UN documents, voting data, speeches, maps, and open access publications. The platform provides access to UN-produced materials in digital format and bibliographic records for print UN documents starting in 1979. System features include linked data between related documentation such as resolutions, meeting records and voting, and refining of searches by UN body, agency or type of document.  User Guide

The UN Library is digtizing their historical publications dating back to 1946 so some older materials have been digitized and are avaiable online. Material from 1993 onwards should be available online. 

UBC Library subscribes to the UN iLIbrary database. Search here for sales publications and other UN agencies materials.

For statistics and data go to the UN Data website. 

United Nations Collection

Flag United Nations

Flickr: Flag United Nations by erik prunczyk

You will find UN material throughout the UBC libraries depending on the subject matter.

A large portion of the material is located on the 2nd Floor of the Koerner Library in the Government Publications Section. Some of the documents that you'll find here include Committee Reports, Meeting Papers, Special Committee Reports and Official Records from the major UN bodies.

Documents available online: 

  • All UN documents from 1993
  • All resolutions of the Principal Organs from 1946
  • All Security Council plenary documents from 1946 in English, French and Spanish
  • All supplements to the General Assembly Official Records (GAOR) from 1946
  • ÖAll General Assembly plenary meeting records from 1946 in English, French and Spanish
  • Pre-1993 materials are retrospectively being digitized - status of digitization.

Starting Points

The United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library creates UN Research guides relating to the work of the UN. Topics include human rights, political and social affairs, peace & security,  disarmament, development and humanitarian affairs. 

  •  UN Documentation is also a good place to go for documents such as Resolutions and Reports from the main UN organs. 
  • United Nations History Project - a starting point for scholars who wish to research in UN archives or find online materials related to the UN. Project coordinator is Dr. Heidi J.S. Tworek, Assistant Professor of International History at UBC.   
  • UN Research Guides created by various universities with UN archival collections. The list is compiled by the UN History project


Basic Research Tools

The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations REF JZ4970.O93 2007

Yearbook of the United Nations JX1977.A37.Y4 and online

  • Very detailed summaries of debates and actions taken by the UN and its main bodies published annually since 1946.

    Encyclopedia of the United Nations REF KZ4968.M66 2002

  • Good introductory overview of the components, operations and terminology of the UN. Also includes full text of basic UN documents.

    Annual review of United Nations affairs JX1977.A1.A5

  • Includes a chronological survey of UN-related events, the UN Charter, rules of procedure for each organ, and membership tables for each of the UN bodies.

    Encyclopedia of the United Nations and international agreements REF KZ4968.O84 2003 4 vols.

  • Includes articles on every country, organization, office, and department within the United Nations as well as on every nongovernmental organization, committee, and joint effort (such as peacekeeping operations) that is in any way connected to the United Nations. It also defines every international treaty since the founding of the League of Nations and gives lengthy quotations or the full text of many treaties, depending on their importance.

    United Nations Handbook REF JX1977.A1.N48

  • A comprehensive and ready reference guide to the United Nations system and its work.
  • It contains information on the six principal organs of the UN, its subsidiary organs, related agencies and programmes, and provides current information about the basis of their aims, structures and membership.
  • It also provides an overview of the activities of the UN family organizations as defined in the relevant mandates


Bibliographic Indexes

How to find UN Documents in the Library - start with an index!

United Nations Documents Index (Title varies)

The UN-produced index to their publications. It's one of the principal tools for searching and locating UN materials. It has undergone many name changes.Koerner Library has holdings from 1950-present.

United Nations Official Documents System

  • Full text resolutions and decisions and selected sessional documents, speeches, and press releases from the UN General Assembly, Security Council, Economic & Social Council since 1992.

 Proceedings Indexes

Index to the Proceedings of... There are indexes to the proceedings of each of four principal organs. These are detailed indexes to the Official Records for each organ including subject, speaker, and country/corporate name indexes.

Index to the proceedings of the General Assembly

Index to the proceedings of the Security Council

Index to the proceedings of the Economic and Social Council

Index to the proceedings of the Trusteeship Council

Roll Call Votes

Beginning in 1975 the Index to Proceedings  volumes for the General Assembly, Security Council, and the Trusteeship Council include tables of roll call votes.

The Canadian Peace Research Institute published cumulations of the UN General Assembly roll call votes in the titles listed below:

Nations on record: United Nations General Assembly roll call votes (1946-1973)

Nations on record: United Nations General Assembly roll-call votes, 1974/77-1984/86

Official Records

The Official Records of the United Nations contain a wide range of documents, including final versions of meeting records, resolutions, decisions, agendas, and key documents presented to meeting participants. They also include in the case of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, regular reports on the activities of subsidiary organs or agencies whose activities they are responsible for coordinating. They usually consist of 3 parts: meeting or plenary records; supplements which contain resolutions and decisions, and reports of major UN bodies, committees and commissions as well as the budget and financial reports; and annexes, reprints of related or other important documents. They are indexed in depth in the various Indexes to the Proceedings...

Official records. Supplement / General Assembly

Official records. Supplement. / Security Council

Official records. Supplement / Economic and Social Council

Official Records=Procès verbaux officiels / Trusteeship Council

Treaty Information

Definitions of key terms used in the UN Treaty Collection.

United Nations Treaty Series Database

The UN has produced a Treaty Research Guide which provides a brief introduction to the Treaty Series. The United Nations Treaty Series  is available online from the United Nations Treaty Collection  as well as in print (1946-2010)

  • Includes full text of bilateral and multilateral treaties and subsequent actions, and texts of recently deposited multilateral treaties. Includes text of the Status of Multilateral Treaties deposited with the Secretary-General and the United Nations Treaty Series Cumulative Index

United Nations Treaty Body Database

  • Contains all documents issued since 1992 by the six UN Treaty Monitoring Committees: the Human Rights Committee; the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Committee against Torture; the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women; and the Committee on the Rights of the Child.


News Sources

Human Rights

R2P Responsibility to Protect