The United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) Library, previously the League of Nations Library, was founded in 1919 and became the United Nations Library at Geneva when the League’s assets were transferred to the United Nations in 1946. Its basic objective is to serve as a central Library for UNOG, the specialized agencies and other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations headquartered in Geneva, for the Permanent Missions in Geneva, and for qualified external researchers.
Built "to serve as a centre of international research and an instrument of international understanding", the Library continues today to carry out its historic role thus keeping alive the visionary idea of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who in 1927, made an important donation to endow the League of Nations with a modern library suitable for the study of international relations.
By giving access to knowledge, the Library encourages better understanding between people of different origins and opinions. Its rich collections and archival funds provide a solid foundation for in-depth and comprehensive research in all areas of the United Nations’ work. The extensive collections of both print and non-print sources are continuously updated and expanded to ensure access to the latest data, research and analysis.
The Library also plays a unique role in helping the world remember, and learn from, the efforts of the United Nations and the League of Nations. Careful, select conservation of key documentation is central to the institutional memory of the Organization. The Archives section continues to collect UNOG archival material of historical value, and an elaborate programme for preservation of the valuable collections is under development.
The UNOG Library is part of a strong network of United Nations and UN system libraries, that share expertise, best practices and resources, and cooperate to ensure the best quality of products and services for their users.
These libraries have adapted to changes in the library work and profession to become important actors in the Organization’s information strategy. Their role is to provide access to information and ideas, serving as gateways to knowledge, thought and culture, thereby facilitating the decision-making process.