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Library Guides

United Nations Documents: Searching United Nations Documents

Guide to Drew University's United Nations Materials.

Specialized UN databases

  • Dag Hammarskjold Library - The UN Research Tools section is particularly useful. UN System Pathfinders provide lists of key documets by topic.
  • International Law - United Nations site devoted to international law.
  • Secretary-General's Report to the President of the Security Council - Full text from 1994.
  • Security Council Exchange of Letters - Exchange of letters between the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council, from 1997.
  • Security Council Presidential Statements – Full text of statements made by UN Security Council President(s) since 1994.
  • United Nations Cartographic Section - official UN maps.
  • UN Chronicle Online – selected full text articles from recent issues of the UN Chronicle, with access to the table of contents of archived issues.
  • United Nations News Centre - official UN news service.
  • United Nations Non-Governmental Organizations – “The searchable Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Database is compiled by the NGO Liaison Office of the Director-General's Office at UNOG. It contains information about the organizations that have Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations ( ECOSOC ).”
  • United Nations Press Releases - most recent 30 days. Access to news archives is available.
  • United Nations Sales Publications - United Nations publications for sale. View a list of regularly issued UN sales publications. Or browse the catalog of publications by topic.
  • UN Statistics Division Access to the full text of selected global datasets compiled and maintained by the United Nations. Datasets include the Millennium Indicators Database and Social Indicators dataset.
  • United Nations Treaty Body Database. Contains full text documents issued by the six UN Treaty Monitoring Committees since 1992: 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.
  • World Health Organization - Key demographic information from the United Nations' specialized agency for health. "Health is defined in WHO's Constitution as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

SEARCHING UNITED NATIONS DOCUMENTS AND RELATED PUBLICATIONS ONLINE

United Nations publications are extensive. Publications include official documents, reports, sales publications, NGO publications, working papers, maps, news items, statistics, treaties, speeches, memos, voting records, UN related program documents and more. UN and UN related publications range from single page documents to 1,000 page books  

UN Sales Publications are intended for widespread public dissemination; they are available for purchase. The Drew library subscribes to a limited number of UN Sales Publications. Records for these publications can be found in the Drew Catalog .

Official Records represent the permanent documentation of UN proceedings; the full text of these documents are readily available online (1993 – present). Print copies of older Official Records are in Drew's United Nation Collection . Other types of materials available online include voting records, speeches, press releases, news stories, working documents, letters, selected treaties and more.

UN records and other UN publications can be accessed online in numerous ways, using different UN databases. All databases provide some full text. The different databases provide access to varying content; all use different search engines and interfaces. Choose the database most relevant for your search needs.

No single database provides access to all UN and UN related materials. Specialized Agency material is available through their own catalogs and library systems, although some publications may be found in UNBISnet.An alternative way to access UN documents and related publications is through the website of specific UN or UN-related agencies. To access UN and UN related websites see Organization of the United Nations and Related bodies. General UN databases

ODS Advanced provides access to the full text of archived resolutions (1946-1993), the daily list of journals ( Vienna , Geneva ) and Daily Journal ( New York , Vienna , Geneva . This database does not contain press releases, UN sales publications, the United Nations Treaty Series or information brochures issued by the Department of Public Information.

Select archival resolutions or journals from the database selection list. Keyword searching in ODS Advanced is awkward. The most effective way to access ODS data is by UN document numbers , or complete (or nearly complete) bibliographic citations. Use UN-I-QUE to determine document numbers. Use UNBISnet to acquire full bibliographic citations.

 

UNBISnet is the most comprehensive and most user friendly of the UN databases. UNBISnet has powerful search capabilities, making it particularly useful for keyword or topic searches.

UNBISnet is the catalogue of United Nations (UN) documents and UN related publications indexed by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library and the Library of the UN Office at Geneva . Generally, coverage is from 1979, with older documents added continuously. UNBISnet provides full text access to all documents contained in the ODS databases. Full text is also available for many other UN and UN related documents.

Voting records for the General Assembly (1983- , 38 th session) and the Security Council (1946-) are available. Links to the full text of resolutions are provided.

Citations to speeches made in the General Assembly (1983- ), the Security Council (1983- ) the Economic and Social Council (1983 - ) and the Trusteeship Council (1982-). Links to the full text of speeches are provided.

UN-I-QUE - Provides quick access to document symbols/sales numbers for UN materials (1946 onwards). Simple or search queries return lists of relevant documents, listed by document symbol or sales number. This database is particularly useful for identifying those UN committees of organs which deal with your topic. Use the document symbols found in UN-I-QUE to find full text in ODS and UNBISnet.

UN Documentation Centre provides full text access to official documents of the five major functioning bodies of the United Nations (the sixth body, the Trusteeship Council, no longer meets on a regular basis). Documents are organized by publishing body: General Assembly; Economic and Social Council; Security Council; Secretariat; International Court of Justice. Access is through browsable lists by UN body and session. Includes archived resolutions from 1946, documents, reports, landmark documents and selected press releases.

Use Documentation Centre when you want to browse documents by issuing agency, rather than topic or subject.

The UN Documentation: Research Guide provides many quick links to main UN body documents to documents organized by topics.

UN Educational Portal links to over 80 UN-related sites with some educational purpose.

UN Google – search web pages registered with the UN using Google's search engine. Check out the tab links at the top of the page for more organized searching. The Databases link is particularly helpful.

UNBISnet User Guide

UNBISnet User Guide

There are three ways to access to UNBISnet data:

 

 

Unless you are specifically looking for voting records or a speech, search Bibliographic Records.  

Bibliographic Records Searching

The browse mode of Bibliographic Records allows you to create lists of UN publications related to keyword, author name, title, UN document symbol (when searching by document symbol, do not use any punctuation, such as slashes or periods), thesaurus term and more.

  • All results are posted and hyperlinked.
  • Related keywords are suggested, with postings and hyperlinks.

The keyword mode of Bibliographic Records allows you to search for keywords anywhere in the document record or in specific part of the record, such as the title, author, UN document symbol, country of origin, or numerous other options.

  • Boolean (AND/OR/NOT), adjacency and phrase searching are available.
  • Where available, there are hyperlinks to the full text.

You also have the option to limit your keyword search:

  • by a subset databases (UN publications; Non UN publications; UN and NON UN)
  • by type of record (monograph; journal article; monograph article; journal)
  • by 39 different material types (examples include letters, dissertations, NGO written statements, vetoes, press releases and more).
  • by language.

Hold down the control key on the keyboard to select multiple limits.

You can also limit your keyword search

  • by publication date
  • and you can sort your results in several ways.

Search History of your keyword and browse search is available on every page.

Voting Records Searching

The Voting Records option accesses “the full text of voting records for all resolutions which were adopted - either without a vote or by roll-call or recorded vote - by the General Assembly beginning with its 38th session (1983-) and the Security Council beginning with its 1st year (1946-).”

Voting Records provides many fewer search options and limits than the Bibliographic Record.

The browse mode of Bibliographic Records allows you to create lists of UN publications related to Resolution Symbols and Agenda Document/Item Numbers. In order to effectively use the browse search in Voting Records, you must know either UN Resolution Symbol OR the Agenda Document/Item Number.

The keyword search option allows you to search voting records by:

  • keyword
  • UN Resolution Symbol
  • Vote Date
  • Bib No.

Voting Records keyword allows for:

  • Boolean (AND/OR/NOT), adjacency and phrase searching
  • hyperlinks to the full text

You also have the option to limit your search:

  • Action Body
  1. General Assembly
  2. Security Council
  • Vote Type
    1. Resolution adopted without a vote
    2. Resolution adopted with a vote

Hold down the control key on the keyboard to select multiple limits.

  You can also limit your search:

  • By date
  • By different sorting options

Search History of your keyword and browse search is available on every page.

Index to Speeches Searching

Index to Speeches accesses “the full text to speeches made in the General Assembly beginning with its 38th session (1983-), the Security Council beginning with its 38th year (1983-), the Economic and Social Council beginning in 1983 and the Trusteeship Council beginning with its 15th special session (1982). “

Index to Speeches provides many fewer search options and limits than the Bibliographic Record.

The browse mode of Bibliographic Records allows you to create lists of UN publications related to Meeting Record Symbols and Agenda Document/Item Numbers. In order to effectively use the browse search in Index to Speeches, you must know either UN Meeting Record Symbol OR the Agenda Document/Item Number.

The keyword search option allows you to search speeches by:

  • Meeting record symbol
  • Speaker
  • Country/organization
  • Topic
  • Speech date
  • Bib no.

Index to Speeches keyword allows for:

Boolean (AND/OR/NOT), adjacency and phrase searching

  • hyperlinks to the full text

You also have the option to limit your search by:

  • Action Body
  • Economic and Social Council
  • General Assembly
  • Security Council
  • Trusteeship Council

Hold down the control key on the keyboard to select multiple limits.

You can also limit your search:

  • By date
  • By different sorting options

Search History of your keyword and browse search is available on every page

Questions? Need Help? Email reference@drew.edu

Drew University Library, http://www.drew.edu/library