Archive for the League of Nations

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(give a brief summary comment about holdings here)









Schedule & hours

Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 5:30pm Annual closures for holidays.

Working language(s)

French and English.


(description of reading rooms, store rooms, etc)


(how to find the archive)


Description of holdings

(a more extensive description (qualitative and/or quantitative) of the holdings and the state in which they are kept)

History of the archive

(previous location(s) of collection held there, and any information that might help researchers to navigate previous systems)

Catalogues & finding aids

(describe any that exist, and give links to any that are online)

Languages of materials

Restrictions & difficulties

Classified material

Inaccessible material

Future of the archive

(what direction is the archive going? what rumours have you heard?)

Research procedures


You must contact the archives and request access before arriving. This will certainly help with the relatively high level of security required to enter the United Nations compound. Once through security (much like airport screening) you retrieve a visitors ID badge from the main desk inside the building. This requires a passport (or other government ID), they'll take your picture and give you the ID badge, which you must wear during your visit.

First visit

Once you have proceeded through security and retrieved your ID badge, you cross the UN grounds to building E, then up the escalator to the glass walkway that takes you to building B. At the end of the hall, turn left and continue on until you come to the Reading Room. Inside, you should present yourself to the archivist on duty and they will show you to your assigned desk and walk you through the steps for ordering your documents. Document retreival is usually quite fast.

Permitted and prohibited items

(if possible, account for laptop computers, cameras, scanners, phones, pens and pencils, loose papers, and so on)

  • Permitted:
  • Prohibited:

Document ordering

Document requests are done on a paper form found on the shelf beside the finding aids. Record the reference codes for the boxes you want to order (5 at a time) and bring your completed form to the person at the retreival desk. They'll go and get your documents and bring them to your desk. This usually takes less than 15 minutes.

Ordering classified material

(what special permission is necessary?)

Document delivery

Documents usually take less than 15 minutes to arrive after you have handed in your request form. They are delivered to your desk. You can consult 5 boxes at a time. When you are finished with a box, you can return it to a trolley parked near the finding aids,

Photocopying, photography, microfilming

(what are costs, permits, and page limits? how long do you have to wait?)

Key forms

(what are the main forms that the archive uses? if possible, provide links to copies or post copies directly)

Key individuals

Archive staff

(people you've found particularly helpful; no invective)


(scholars who are familiar with this archive)


(published works based on research at this archive)






Coming from the main train station in Geneva is relatively easy. Take the 15 tram north (tickets are available from electronic kiosks with English instructions) to the Nations stop.

Internet access

There is free public internet throughout the United Nations compound.



See also

Please see Vincent Lagendijk's description from Archives Made Easy.

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