Does the Library digitize UN documents?
Last Updated: Aug 03, 2022
The digitization programme of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library prioritizes the scanning of important older documents issued by the Security Council, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council for upload to the Official Document System (ODS) and the UN Digital Library, as requested by A/RES/76/237, para. 80-81.
Digitization serves two vital functions: it preserves fragile historical documents and allows them to be accessed online by many users without damage to the original record.
The Dag Hammarskjöld Library systematically digitizes historic documents of the UN published between 1946 and 1993. From 1993 onwards, UN documents have been published in digital format and are available online.
Ad hoc digitization
The Dag Hammarskjöld Library also scans individual documents upon request.
Ad hoc requests for digitization are handled in the order they are received with priority given to requests from Member States and staff of the United Nations Secretariat. While we aim to fulfill requests from external researchers, our capacity to assist may be limited.
The time required for digitization varies with
- the number of pages,
- the condition of the document, and
- the distribution policy.
Restricted material may take additional time to review, as it requires consultation with other departments.
UN departments can request systematic scanning of document series. Further consultation with Library staff will be required.
Which documents cannot be scanned by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library?
We kindly refer clients to alternative sources if the requested material is
- not found in our collections;
- reproduced in another format already available online,
- e.g. draft resolutions reproduced in reports of General Assembly Main Committees or the General Assembly Official Records (GAOR) Annexes;
- widely held by other libraries,
- e.g. UN publications, including series (please check WorldCat);
- produced by a Specialized Agency (please reach out to the authoring agency);
- containing information that is reproduced in a newer format (e.g. older statistical publications where the data is now available on the UN Data website).
In case the Dag Hammarskjöld Library is unable to accommodate a request, clients might be referred to the following sources:
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.