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United Nations Depository Library

A United Nations Depository Library at the Law Library

The Law Library is a United Nations Depository Library.
The United Nations has a worldwide network of depository libraries. The prime objective of these depository libraries is making the documents and publications of the United Nations available.

Doing research

Since its foundation the UN has published a wide variety of documents and publications. These days most material is published digitally which increases availability of the documents and makes them easier to find.

In order to search for material which is only available on paper a basic knowledge of the UN organization and its bibliographical aids is required. Both are available at the Law Library.

In case material is not available at the Law Library the United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe will supply support.

Research guides

Both the UN and universities have compiled research guides. You may find references to these research guides.

Please note that some of the guides refer to the availability or call number of material which is not available at the Law Library of the UvA. In such a case the use of the UvA catalogue and the help of the library staff is indispensable.

United Nations Research Guide - research guide by the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library

United Nations research guides - research guides on many topics from the UN libraries in New York, Geneva and Vienna 

United Nations - research guide by Mississippi State University

United Nations (pdf) - electronic research guide of the American Society of International Law

United Nations - research guide Duke Law School

Databases: the most important

These are all public databases.


Website of the United Nations
Start your research on subject (human rights, international law), on guide (UN Charter), on organ (Security Council) and much more.

Official Documents of the United Nations is the digital archive of the official documents (full text) of the UN dating from 1993. The database is still being supplemented with older documents, for example all resolutions of the Security Council since 1946 have been digitized. (Digital) documents can also be retrieved using the UNBISnet database.

UNBISnet (United Nations Bibliographic Information System)
Catalogue of the Library of the UN in New York which contains publications and documents of the UN and non-UN material since 1979. Please note that this database contains full text documents, such as documents from the General Assembly (from the ODS database), as well as many bibliographical references (e.g. to books).

Yearbook of the United Nations
A survey of the yearly main activities including many references to documents and publications.

Not in the public domain but available at the UvA:
UN iLibrary. The United Nations iLibrary is the first comprehensive global search, discovery, and viewing source for digital content (books and periodicals from 2010) created by the United Nations.



United Nations Treaty Collection
A collection of databases which covers all aspects of research concerning treaties: texts, ratifications, etc.

United Nations Legal Publications
Prime source for legal research e.g. the International Law Commission.

United Nations Rule of Law Document Repository
This specialized database corresponds very well with the main research areas of the Faculty of Law. The database contains documents, background information about the concept of the rule of law and much more.

Social media

The UN has issued several mobile applications, e.g.:

Basic facts about the UN

Charter of the UN

United Nations Handbook 2016-17


Published by  Library UvA

19 December 2016