Research Guides

League of Nations

Research Guide for the League of Nations Archives

"Ghebali" Guide

Victor-Yves Ghebali and Catherine Ghebali. A Repertoire of League Serial Documents, 1919-1947. Répertoire des Séries de documents de la Société des Nations 1919-1947. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1973. 2 vols.

Reference work inventorying all series of documents. Detailed introduction on the classification system for the League of Nations documents. 

[Please note that the PDF files above have been processed with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, and can therefore be searched using the Find or Search features of Adobe Acrobat. The 2 volumes of the "Ghebali" guide had to be split into two sections due to file size limitations.]

Finding Aids and the UN Archives Geneva Platform

There is often some confusion concerning the UN Archives Geneva platform 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 UN Geneva and League of Nations Archives according to international standards to a uniform level and to make this description available online via the UN Archives Geneva platform. 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 especially for the UN Geneva archives. The League of Nations will be completely described and the digitized documents available online by the end of 2022 thanks to the Total Digital Access to the League of Nations Archives Project (LONTAD).

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.

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 and the Section Files.

The Répertoire is also divided according to three administrative time periods: 1919-1927, 1928-1932, and 1933-1946.

[Please note that the PDF files above 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.]