Types of Documents

The UN has published very various and numerous documents.

Document Symbols

The UN documents except journals have their own document symbols.
When you want a document that cannot get online, you should note these symbols.

○ Structure of the Symbols
Parent Organization/Subsidiary Body/Nature of Document/Modification
1) A/55/1 = General Assembly/55th/Document no.1
2) A/AC.109/PV.1412 = General Assembly/109th ad hoc committee/Verbatim record no.1412

The detail of the document symbols can be learned via the following webpages.

Sales Number

Publications for sale have each sales number. The Kobe University United Nations Depository Library manages UN publications by using this number.
Other libraries such as the Library for Social Sciences provide books with other symbols (call no.) and manages them.

○ Structure of the Sale Number
Language. Year. Subject (or organ). Serial number
e.g.) E. 80. II.C. 1 = English. 1980. World economy. 1st publication

Annual Report

An annual report is a report submitted to the upper organization by their branches. These reports are published as the supplements of the official records.

○ Document Symbol of Annual Report
Organization/Session number/Document number
e.g.) A/55/15(SUPP) = General Assembly/55th/Document no.15 (Supplement)

Official Record

Official Records have the following 3 kinds.

  • Minutes
    Shorthand / summary records of proceedings. Minutes are indicated by “/PV.” and “/SR.”.
    e.g.) A/56/PV.1= General Assembly/56th meeting/Shorthand record no.1
  • Annexe
    An annexe is what put together documents as references of proceedings managed by agenda. Annexes of the General Assembly (~1992) / the Economic and Social Council (~1972) / the Trusteeship Council (~1969) have ended publication.
  • Supplement
    A supplement is such as resolutions of the General Assembly, annual reports and report of the main organizations.
    「A / Session number / Number 1 to 49」 (e.g., A/52/12) means the supplements of the official records of the General Assembly.

UNBIS Thesaurus

A thesaurus is a kind of dictionary that groups synonyms and hierarchises them.
The library of the United Nations Office that creates UNBISNET gives thesaurus terms to Documents, Official Records and Publications by using UNBIS thesaurus.

UNBIS THESAURUS” provides thesaurus list by alphabetical order and by field. You can also search for thesaurus words by using this database.

Document / Official Document

Only a few libraries have these document because they are not sold to public.
Many of documents published in recent years have been exposed on the web and older documents are also being digitised.

  1. Searching Official Document System(ODS) for online editions
  2. Inquiring of the United Nations Depository Library and check its holdings
  3. Applying Photocopy Request


Some publications are digitized and exposed on the web.
When you search for UN publications held in Japan, you should search OPAC of each library or “CiNii Books“.

  1. Searching for online editions by using United Nations Digital Library
  2. Searching for by Kobe University Library OPAC
  3. Applying InterLibrary LoanService

More Information (United Nations)

Name・Link Description Note
UNITED NATIONS The official website of the UN. This website provides various information and documents about the UN, and links to websites of the lower organizations.
United Nations Information Centres UNICs are part of the Department of Global Communications (DGC) and they provide information on actions by the UN.
The United Nations today The document about the outline of the UN published in 2008 Printed material
Basic facts about the United Nations The documents written about basic information about the UN. New editions are published every several years. Printed material
Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements The encyclopedia about the UN. Printed material
Yearbook of the United Nations A detailed annual activities of the UN are provided. Printed materials are held
UN Chronicle A quarterly PR magazine abou activities of the United Nations. Printed materials are held
Kobe University United Nations Depository Library The United Nations Depository Library is located in the Library of Research Institute for Economics and Business Administrations.
United Nations Research Guides & Resources The website of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library.

More Information (League of Nations)

Name・Link Description Note
Monthly summary of the League of Nations A PR magazine that was published by the League of Nations. Printed material
League of Nations Official Journal This journal provides such as minutes of assemblies, official documents, budgets, and staff lists. Printed material
Official journal. Special supplement This journal provides minutes and results of the general assemblies and minutes of 6 main committees. Printed material
Annuaire de la Société des Nations An annual report that was published by the League of Nations. Printed material
Monthly bulletin of statistics The statistical information of countries is published. Printed material
Annuaire statistique de la Société des Nations An annual report for statistical information of countries. Printed material
International trade statistics The statistical documents about international trade. Printed material