Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

United Nations: Home

This research guide provides an introduction to UN research, with an emphasis on electronic sources.

Guide Contents

Use the tabs at the top of the page or the links below to navigate through this guide.

Library Chat

About This Guide

This research guide provides an introduction to UN research, with an emphasis on electronic sources.

Acknowledgement: Thank you to Mary Rumsey, Foreign, Comparative and International Law Librarian, University of Minesota Law Library, for allowing me to use her United Nations guide as a template.


The United Nations replaced the League of Nations in 1945. The United Nations Charter was signed on June 26, 1945 at San Francisco (3 Bevans 1153, UN Yearbook). The United Nations is composed of six principal organs: the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the Secretariat.

Other Guides

Research guides and bibliographies can provide good information for the person starting UN research. Listed below are a few sources which deal with the UN specifically, but which may also be helpful for research on other intergovernmental organizations.

United Nations Documentation: Research Guide This guide was prepared by the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library.

Guide to International Legal Research. Reserve KZ 1234 .G85, updated yearly.

United Nations Scholars Workstation at Yale University.The United Nations Scholars' Workstation, developed by the Yale University Library and the Social Science Statistical Laboratory, is a collection of texts, finding aids, data sets, maps, and pointers to print and electronic information. Subject coverage includes disarmament, economic and social development, environment, human rights, international relations, international trade, peacekeeping, and population and demography.

ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law: United Nations. A very good research guide on electronic sources for the UN.

Basic Sources:

Yearbook of the United Nations. Detailed history for one year. Includes full text of key resolutions and gives useful references to important reports and documents.  Also available in print (Hagerty 2nd Floor JX1977.A37 Y4).

C. Parry, Parry and Grant Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law. Short articles on international law, including treaties and international organizations. Also available in print  Law 3rd floor: Ready Reference Collection KZ1161.P37 2009.

E. Osmancyzk, Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements. Provides citations to documents. (Law 3rd floor: Ready Reference Collection KZ4968 .O84 2003).

About the United Nations  Introduction to the structure and work of the UN.

Database Access Note: access to certain databases linked to in this guide may be restricted to members affiliated with the Earle Mack School of Law or Drexel University. Please see our Electrnic Databases Directory for further information on access privileges.

Subject Guide

Lindsay Steussy's picture
Lindsay Steussy
3320 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 571-4774