Finding Government Information
United Nations Publications
How to find United Nations Publications
The Government Publications Department was a partial depository for United Nations publications in paper from 1967 until 1991 when it relinquished its UN depository status. However, it continued to subscribe to the Readex United Nations Documents and Publications collection, which we had in microcard, then microfiche (microcards=1946-1953, 1954-1956, annually until 1982 when the format changed to microfiche). When the William T. Young Library opened in 1998, the United Nations paper depository collection was left in the King Library except for a few serial titles of a reference nature. The Readex microcard collection was also left in the King Library. The Readex microfiche collection, which is a growing collection, was moved to the new library.
Relatively few United Nations publications are included in the UK online catalog, InfoKat, as individual titles. Some titles are purchased by various campus libraries as they fit into their subject areas. These may be in the online catalog with Library of Congress call numbers. Although InfoKat is not a bad place to start a search for UN publications, library users should always remember that it is only a starting place and that the best resources to identify United Nations publications may be indexes and resources other than the online catalog, especially if attempting in-depth or historical research.
Official Document System of the United Nations 1946 - present
UN-I-QUE (UN Info Quest) is a ready reference file, not a comprehensive index to UN publications and documents. It was created by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library to respond to frequently asked questions. It is a database designed to provide quick access to document symbols/sales numbers for UN materials. UN-I-QUE focuses upon documents and publications of a recurrent nature: annual/sessional reports of committees/commissions; monographic series; journals; annual publications; reports periodically/irregularly issued; reports of major conferences; statements in the General Debate; etc. Information within each record is presented in reverse chronological order to facilitate identification of the most recent data.
The official homepage of the United Nations, http://www.un.org/ , provides some full-text resources as well as other important information.
Historical access to UN publications is provided by a series of official UN indexes:
- United Nations Documents Index (UNDI): vol. 1 (Jan. 1950) - vol. 24 (Dec. 1973) Location: Young Reference-Ready Ref. Call Number: UN ST/LIB Ser. E
- UNDEX. United Nations documents index. Series A: Subject index: vol. 1 (Jan, 1970 - vol. 9 (Dec. 1978); Location: Young Reference-Ready Ref. Call Number: ST/LIB/SER.I/A
- UNDEX. United Nations documents index. Series B: Country index vol. 1 (Jan. 1970) - vol. 9 (Dec. 1978); Location: Young Reference-Ready Ref. Call Number: ST/LIB/SER.I/B
- UNDEX. United Nations documents index. Series C: List of documents vol. 1 (Jan. 1974) - vol. 6 (Jan. 1979) Location Young Reference-Ready Ref. Call Number: UN ST/LIB/SER.I/C
- UNDOC: Current Index: vol. 1, no. 1 (Jan./Feb. 1979); ceased with vol. 18, no. 2, published in 1996 Location: Young Reference-Ready Ref. Call Number: UN ST/LIB Ser.M Note: Beginning with 1984 the paper copy is retained only until replaced by microform.
- [UNDOC, current index (Cumulative edition)]
- UNDOC, current index [microform] 1984 - Location: Young Periodicals Desk Call Number: UN ST/LIB Ser.M. Note: Library has Cum. 6( 1984) - Cum. 12 (1990) and Cum. 15 (1993) - Cum. 17 (1996) Once you have determined the UN documents number using one of the resources above, you can find the publications in the following locations:
- The paper depository UN collection (1967 - 1992) is housed in the King Library, service from the 4th floor desk.
- The Readex microcard collection (cumulated for1946 - 1953, 1954 - 1956, then annually until 1981) is housed in the King Library, service from the 4th floor desk.
- The Readex microfiche collection (1982 - ) is housed in Young Library with service from the Periodicals/Newspapers/Microtext desk on the second floor, east wing.