A QUICK GUIDE TO CATEGORIES OF UN SALES PUBLICATIONS



United Nations Sales Publications are essential international reference materials in paper or electronic format which have been published by the United Nations and earlier by the League of Nations.  


How Sales Publications are Identified

The Online Catalog at Princeton can be used to identify some of the United Nations Sales Publications we hold.  However, this is a new and ongoing project, and many important parts of the collection, especially older volumes and serials, are not yet included here, and records are not yet complete. Therefore other sources are still important to identify UN Sales Publications:
 

  • [Birchfield] The complete reference guide to United Nations sales publications, 1946-1978.  

  • Pleasantville, N.Y. : UNIFO Publishers, 1982.  2 v. ; 29 cm.  
    Contents: v. 1. Catalogue / compiled and edited by Mary Eva Birchfield -- v. 2. Indexes. Sales number index, title index / compiled by Mary Eva Birchfield. Key word in context index / compiled by Jacqueline Coolman.  
    Location: United Nations Collection (UN). Firestone  
    Call Number: Z6485.Z9 U52 1982  

    Birchfield, Mary Eva, 1909-  
    Title: Consolidated catalog of League of Nations publications offered for sale / by Mary Eva Birchfield.  
     Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. : Oceana Publications, 1976.    ix, 477 p. ; 26 cm.  
    Location: United Nations Collection (UN). Firestone  
    Call Number: Z6479.Z9 B57  
     

  • Index to international statistics : IIS.  

  • Published/Created: Washington, DC, USA : Congressional Information Service,1983 to present
    Physical Description: v. ; 28 cm.  
    Location: Social Science Reference Center (SSRC). Firestone  
    Call Number: Z7552 .I53  

    RLIN Bibliographic Database.  The Dag Hammarskjold Library at UN Headquarters is a member of RLIN since about 1983, but also does some retrospecitve cataloging.  Its symbol is NYDW, and it catalogs many UN Sales Publications and includes the Sales Number.


    How Sales Publications are Arranged

    They are issued in broad subject groups called "Categories."  Having UN Sales Publications shelved by these categories greatly facilitates their reference use.  Therefore Sales Categories are used to shelve the paper collection here at Princeton, and indeed in most research libraries. 
    These Subject Categories are identified by a Roman numeral, or a Roman numeral and letter combination, as shown in the list below. Sales Publications are also shelved in the UN Collection here at Princeton according to these Categories, and within most categories, by year, then by document number.   Category XVII is the exception to this pattern.  It is shelved by Category, and then by series letter and number, since this groups ongoing statistical yearbook titles together, rather than mixing them together for each year. See below for a list of series in Category XVII. Examples of Sales Publications numbers are 83.II.E.4 and 84.XIII.1.

    CATEGORY

    I               GENERAL INFORMATION AND REFERENCE
    II      A       BUSINESS,ECONOMICS,SCIENCE, AND TECHNOLOGY
    II      B       ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (UNIDO PUBLICATIONS)
    II      C       WORLD ECONOMY
    II      D       TRADE,FINANCE AND COMMERCE (UNCTAD PUBLICATIONS
    II      E       EUROPEAN ECONOMY (Includes Economic Commission for 
                    Western Asia.)
    II      F       ASIAN ECONOMY (Includes Economic and Social Commission 
                    for Asia and the Pacific. Also includes Economic Commission for Western 
                    Asia.)
    II      G       LATIN AMERICAN ECONOMY (Includes Economic Commission for 
                    Latin America and the Caribbean.)
    II      H       PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
    II      K       AFRICAN ECONOMY (Includes Economic Commission for Africa)
    III     A       UNU PUBLICATIONS
    III     B       UNDP PUBLICATIONS
    III     C       INSTRAW PUBLICATIONS
    III     D       UNEP PUBLICATIONS
    IV              SOCIAL QUESTIONS
    V               INTERNATIONAL LAW
    VII             POLITICAL AND SECURITY COUNCIL AFFAIRS
    VIII            TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS
    IX              DISARMAMENT AND ATOMIC ENERGY
    X               INTERNATIONAL ADMINISTRATION
    XI              NARCOTIC DRUGS
    XIII            DEMOGRAPHY
    XIV             HUMAN RIGHTS
    XV              UNITAR PUBLICATIONS
    XVI             PUBLIC FINANCE AND FISCAL QUESTIONS
    XVII            INTERNATIONAL STATISTICS (See below for detail.)
    0               Geneva Sales Publications
    Category XVII Series Listing

    Although Category XVII volumes are issued with Sales Publication numbers that could be used for shelving, doing so would mix all yearbook titles together for each year, and make using a particular title cumbersome. For this reason, Category XVII is shelved together, but within the Category the Series letter assigned as part of the UN document number is used. Series titles are given below. Please note that titles may vary somewhat from year to year, but the subject covered will remain the same.

    SERIES

    A       Population and Vital Statistics Report (1977 to date)
    B       Statistical Notes (1948-1972, inactive series)
    C       Sample Surveys of Current Interest (1949 and following, frequent)
    D       Maritime Transport Statistics (was Commodity Trade, By Sea)(1976 to date)
    E       National Income (1949-1954, shelved with Category 0 below, inactive)
    F       Studies in Methods (1950 to date)
    G       Yearbook of International Trade Statistics (1950 to date)
    H       Statistics of National Income and Expenditure (1952-1957, shelved 
            with Category 0 below, inactive)
    I       (not used)
    J       Yearbook of World Energy Statistics (1929 to date)
    K       Compendium of Social Statistics (1963,1967,1977, many time tables)
    L       Commodity Imports (1965 and 1969, inactive)
    M       Studies in Methods (1949 to date)
    N       Compendium of Housing Statistics (1971 to date)
    O       Yearbook of National Account Statistics (1951-1981)
    P       Yearbook of Industrial Statistics (1938 to date)
    Q       (not used)
    R       (not used)
    S       Statistical Yearbook of the United Nations (1948 to date)
    T       Direction of International Trade, (1950-1963 catalogued at 
            HF91.D5 in Firestone stacks, none in UN, inactive)
    U       Yearbook of Construction Statistics (1963 to date)
    V       World Statistics in Brief (1976 to date)
    W       (not used)
    X       National Accounts Statistics, (1982 to date, shelved with 
            Category 0 above)
    Y       Special Studies
    Z       (not used)
    For an alphabetic guide to these Series and to other statistical titles issued by various UN and Specialized Agency bodies, See the UN Collection Reference Sheet "Quick Guide to Keywords in United Nations Statistical Titles."

    Page last updated May 21, 2003, in the Social Science Reference Center of Princeton University Library.  Comments or suggestions to sbwhite@princeton.edu.