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United Nations Research Guide: Background

Key Resources

Background Information about the United Nations

The following titles may be useful for understanding the work and influence of the United Nations during certain times in history. Many of the titles have not been published in several years and may not be useful to those seeking a current perspective of the United Nations.
  1. Basic Facts about the United Nations. New York: UN Dept. of Public Information, 1947–
    JZ4970 .U5 (Latest in Main Reference)
    General introduction to the role and function of the UN and its related agencies.
  2. Chronology and Fact Book of the United Nations. Kumiko Matsuura (ed.). 8th ed. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana, 1992.
    JX1977 .C525 (Latest in  Main Reference)
    An irregular supplement to the Oceana Annual Review of United Nations Affairs (guide item 8), this publication includes a chronological survey of UN-related events, reproduces the UN Charter, rules of procedure for each organ, and membership tables for each of the UN bodies.
  3. Directory of United Nations Documentary and Archival Sources. Peter Hajnal. Hanover, N.H.: Academic Council on the United Nations System / Millwood, NY: Kraus International / New York: United Nations. 1991.
    JX1977.8 .D6 H34 1991
    Good introduction to the documentation system of the United Nations and basic bibliographic tools. Extensive annotated bibliography of major publications within the United Nations system of organizations.
  4. Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements. Edmund Jan Osmanczyk. 3rd ed. New York: Facts on File, 2003.
    KZ4968 .M66 2003  (Latest in Main Reference)
    Extremely useful encyclopedia of International Governmental Organization (IGO)-related information, including definitions of key terms, biographies, and the descriptions and selected texts of major international treaties, conventions and agreements.
  5. Everyone's United Nations. New York: UN, 1948–
    JX1977 .A37 E9 (Latest in Main Reference )
    Good source for brief histories of topics under consideration by the UN. Latest edition published in 1986 (10th).
  6. A Guide to Information at the United Nations. New York: UN, 1995.
    JX1977 .G784 1995
    Guide to the activities and publications of each of the principal organizations and bodies within the United Nations system. Each organizational entry describes the following: mandates; major programs; recent expenditures; publications; and information contacts.
  7. Stanley Foundation Reports . On-line reports from the Stanley Foundation examine issues facing the United Nations.
  8. United Nations Handbook. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of External Relations and Trade. 1976–
    JZ4970 .U6 (Latest Main Reference)
    Annual list of UN organs, agencies, Specialized Agencies, regional development banks. Descriptions include functions, structure, current membership and activities.

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