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Government Publications Library Guide
United Nations Official Records


United Nations Organization:

The United Nations Charter established six principle bodies:

  1. General Assembly
  2. Economic and Social Council
  3. Security Council
  4. Trusteeship Council
  5. Secretariat

Format

United Nations Official Records are published in mimeograph and print formats. Mimeographs are published very quickly, using lower-quality reproduction processes. The print copies are highter in quality, but often take years to be produced.

The Government Publications area receives the print copies of all official records.

Beginning in October 1991, Government Publications also began receiving mimeograph copies of the provisional verbatim records of the General Assembly and Security Council's plenary meetings. These items are discarded once the published materials come in.

Historical Materials

Government Publications hold a historical collection of Official Records on microfilm. Coverage generally spans from 1946 until 1977. See individual records for more detailed holdings information.

Three Referencing Systems for United Nations Official Records

United Nations proceedings and publications are identified in the various sources in three ways:

  1. Document Series Symbols
    These symbols identify United Nations documents by specific series, corporate body, date and distribution categories.

    The basic series elements (i.e., the first element of the symbol) are as follows:
    A/     General Assembly
    E/     Economic and Social Council
    S/     Security Council
    T/     Trusteeship Council
    ST/    Secretariat
    These symbols refer specifically to the United Nations mimeographed publications (not received by Government Publications). Use the "Numerical List of Documents" in the Index to Proceedings sets to determine whether the items appear in printed format (and hence are received by GovPubs).

    See United Nations Document Series Symbols. 1946-1977 and the supplement dated 1978-1984 for a complete list of symbols (UN2 LI10 B053 - MILLS Gov Pubs (mfilm))

  2. Sales Numbers

    e.g. E.77 .I.17

    Items bearing sales numbers appear in print format. The Government Publications receives all print publication.

  3. Official Records References

    These citations refer the user to the specific organ, session and report number in the Official Records.

    The document can be located by following the shelf arrangement of the Official Records.


library@mcmaster.ca
Last Reviewed: November 22, 2006
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