In what way should a depository library organize its United Nations collection?
Last Updated: Jun 06, 2018     Views: 76

Arrangement ​

A depository library may choose any system it prefers, as long as the collection is kept in good order and under adequate control. The below serve as suggestions only:

A partial depository may choose to arrange the collection of sales publications by sales code, thus achieving a broad subject classification. The arrangement may be: 

(1) by year, and within year by subject category, then by individual publication code, in order to bring together all sales publications issued during the year; or 

(2) by subject category, and within category by year, then by individual sales publication code, in order to group all publications by broad subjects.

The Official Records should be arranged by organ and session/year.

A full depository may prefer to arrange the collection alphabetically by series symbol, then numerically by the individual document number. As many sales publications also carry a symbol, the depository may choose to disregard the sales code and file sales publications by symbol. If a combination of arrangement by sales code and by symbol is chosen, a cross reference needs to be placed.

For information on United Nations documents, categories of distribution, meaning of symbols assigned to documents and research tools (printed and on the Internet), consult United Nations Documentation : Research Guide.


While judicious weeding is permitted, the essence of the collection as a record of United Nations activities from the date of designation to the present must be preserved. The following material can be discarded:

1) Masthead versions of documents that are reproduced in the Official Records or in printed proceedings;

2) The basic document and its addenda, corrigenda, amendments and excerpts once a revision is issued;

3) Duplicate copies of documents bearing more than one symbol (only one copy needs to be kept if a cross reference is placed under the other symbols);

4) Masthead documents of conferences, meetings, symposia, etc., if subsequently reissued as sales publications;

5) Weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc., issues of publications for which a yearly cumulation has been issued;

6) Masthead documents that are subsequently reproduced, such as documents of the International Law Commission later appearing in the Yearbook of the International Law Commission.

Jun 06, 2018     76


Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.


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