Since the United Nations began posting its documentation full text on the web though various instruments, identifying and locating the materials covered there became a straightforward task. In particular, the UN ODS System provides full text in all available languages of UN Documents form 1992 to the present. The UNBISNET System provides excellent modern indexing from 1985 to the present, with some documents and Sales Publications from 1979 to the present. Finally, the United Nations Yearbook Collection on the web covers 1946 through 2005.
However, documents detailing the work of earlier years in the United Nations remain largely shrouded in unnecessary mystery for the general public or even in the academic and research world. In a long established Depostiory Library which is also in a research setting such as the United Nations Collection here at Princeton, finding earlier documents is straightforward - really only a matter of using tools and documents files which are a mix of electronic and paper sources. This acces is outlined here.
II. United Nations Yearbook Collection. Also in paper format, located in the Social Science Reference Center in the UN Collection. Look in the right side of the wooden bookcase in the center of the Collection. The Yearbook provides a detailed summary of the work of the United Nations each year, and includes references to many documents. For the years before 1985, the Yearbook is a useful tool to identify documents as to their document symbol.
1. Index in Book Format, 1946-1978
IV. Full Text of Documents 1946-1991. The vull text of United Nations Documents from 1946 to 1991 is found in microformat. Years 1946-1981 is found in a format called MICROCARDS in the Microforms Library on C Floor of Firestone Library, just outside the main staircase. Document from 1981 to 1991 are found in Microfiche along the back wall of the Social Science Reference Center next to the Data Lab, where they have to be pulled and taken to the Microforms Library for reading. In both cases, documents are identified by a UN Symbol, made up of Letters and numers, connected by slashes, such as E/49/C.3/431. There is excellent equipment in the Microforms Library to read and to make copies from the UN documents in microformat. .
V. Official Records Offical Records from the United Nations are the parliamentay recoreds of meetings of major bodies of the UN, incluidng the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the Secutiry Council, and for the years when it was active, the Trustee Council. These include the words said in sessions, and the documents presented at the highest levels, which are termed Supplements. These are found in paper format in the United Nations Collection, and there are excellent paper indexs, the Index to Proceedings of the General Assembly, Index to Proceedings of the Security Council, and so on.
UNISPAL, United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine
VII. Maps While this is not a UN source, the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection on the web from the University of Texas at Austin is highly useful in finding maps related to UN activities and locaitons. i