Research Guides

League of Nations

Research Guide for the League of Nations Archives

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United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) Archives
 
 
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Répertoire Général

The Répertoire Général is the principal finding aid for the League of Nations Secretariat archives, as well as for the Refugee Mixed Archival Group (Nansen Fonds) and the External Fonds. The Répertoire was completed in 1969 after a three year project conducted to render the League Archives more accessible to researchers.

The Répertoire is generally organized according to the sections of the League and contains an index of series or subjects for both Registry Files (the archives "proper", containing correspondence, draft documents, and similar materials) and the Section Files (the working papers or office files of the sections, which were kept in a variety of ways and whose contents can vary greatly according to section; typically they may contain press cuttings and/or copies of documents and publications, but may also contain substantive materials as well).

The Répertoire is also divided according to three administrative time periods: 1919-1927, 1928-1932, and 1933-1946. These time periods correspond to a number of administrative changes made at the League, including the separation, creation and elimination of various sections and sub-sections.

Please note that the PDF files below have been processed with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, and can therefore be searched using the Find or Search features of Adobe Acrobat. Some chapters of the Répertoire had to be split into smaller sections due to file size limitations. 

Finding Aids and the Online Archives Catalogue

There is often some confusion concerning the Archives Catalogue and the various print finding aids, such as the Répertoire Général and the "Ghebali" guide.

While the paper finding aids are tremendously useful to researchers, they remain problematic in several ways. For example, the level of description for one entry in the Réperoire can vary from a single dossier containing one document to a broad series consisting of dozens of files across five or ten boxes. Additionally, the descriptions of the Répertoire do not meet current international standards for archival description and may only provide partial information.

As a result, the Archives have undertaken a significant project to completely describe the UNOG and League of Nations Archives according to international standards to a uniform level and to make this description available online via the Archives Catalogue. However, given the considerable volume of the holdings of the Archives, this project is ongoing and expected to require a number of years to complete. Significant portions have already been completed however, such as the Nansen Fonds, and the complete framework of the archives is already available.

In the meantime, the paper finding aids will continue to be invaluable to researchers.

Copyright Statement

The United Nations provides the materials contained on this web site, including reproductions of items from its collections, for non-commercial, personal, or research use only.

The United Nations holds the copyright for all archival materials produced by the organization and by the League of Nations. However, the United Nations generally does not own rights to secondary or external materials in its collections and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute these materials. It is the patron’s obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the Archives’ collections.