This guide provides access to the most relevant UN documents related to the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted by the General Assembly on 10 December 1948). Documents included were digitized by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library (UN, New York) and the United Nations Library at Geneva.
Additionally, the UN Library at Geneva offers to researchers an exhaustive collection of UN official documents - in print - illustrating the drafting history of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Documents are kept in all languages received and can be consulted on site.
For a detailed historical background of the drafting of the Declaration, consult the volumes of the Yearbook of the United Nations for 1947-1948 and 1948-1949 (see extracts in the pdf files above). Additional volumes of the Yearbook can be consulted online.
(UN Photo/Greg Kinch)
The UN Archives at Geneva maintains records related to the drafting of the Declaration and the covenants which are accessible to the public and available in digitized form. They provide online access to 35 files containing several thousand pages of original and unique materials related to the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This material includes drafts of the Declaration, comments from governments, organizations and the general public, and material related to the implementation of the Declaration. Original documents from René Cassin and Eleonor Roosevelt are included in these invaluable records.
To access the documents, please visit the Archives Catalogue and navigate to the files below the series provided by clicking “Localize in archive plan” on the left. PDF files are available in the Files field of the Detail View.
Researchers can contact the archivists directly for on-site research at: firstname.lastname@example.org. On-site research services are located in the Palais des Nations (Geneva, Switzerland).
The UN Archives in New York (ARMS) also hold important records related to the drafting of the Declaration. Researchers can search their catalogue and find their contact details in their official website: https://archives.un.org.
Visit also UN ARMS online exhibition on The Universal Declaration on Human Rights is 70: https://archives.un.org/content/universal-declaration-human-rights.
The Drafting Committee members:
Biographies of certain members can be found on the Columbia University web site.