Skip to Main Content

Government Information

a pathfinder for finding government information.

United Nations Documents

UN documents record official proceedings of various committees, commissions, departments, offices, programmes, agencies and related organizations. The UN Library has many research guides. The UN Documentation Overview is a good starting point.

  • Annual Review of United Nations Affairs can be found at JX 1977 A1 A61 on the fourth floor of the Killam Library (the most current year is under the same call number in the Reference Room of the Killam Library). This series contains the fulltext of many of the letters, resolutions, and other UN publications of the year.
  • Official Documents System (1993 onwards) used for the electronic storage and distribution of documents. Good source if you know what you are looking for. No subject based access.
  • UN Digital Library is the catalogue of the UN library. It includes documents, votes, speeches and public domain publications. All formats receive subject and format classification and search results can be refined.
    • Speech Index can be useful in determining the details of a particular country's position on an issue.
    • Voting Record Database provides direct evidence of a countries final position on an issue.
  • UN Member States: On the Record provides a way to access documents pertaining to specific member states.

United Nations Publications

Publications are intended to inform an external audience on areas of strategic importance to the various bodies of the UN.

  • UN Chronicle quarterly magazine from the UN.
  • UN Press Releases (available online since 1995) to search press releases choose the "advanced search" feature and under "Type" select "Press Release".
  • UN Resources A to Z   alphabetical and topical lists of United Nations databases and reference works.
  • Yearbook of the United Nations  provides a summary review of UN activity for each year, identifying key issues and/or documents that you may then search for. Print versions are available in the Killam Library REF JX 1977 A37 Y3 / DOC 1UN PI 1.27.

United Nations Collection and General Background

The UN is organized under six principal organs. This chart provides a quick overview for those unfamiliar with the UN.

The Killam Library print collection is housed on the second floor beginning with Call Number 1UN A.

  • A document is a text submitted to a principal organ or a subsidiary organ of the United Nations for consideration by it, usually in connection with item(s) on its agenda."
  • A publication refers to any written material which is issued by the United Nations to the general public.

*Source: UN Documentation Overview Guide