Fonds - UNOG Registry First Period, 1946-1973

Identity area

Reference code


UNOG Registry First Period, 1946-1973


  • 1946-1973 (Creation)

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Context area

Name of creator

Administrative history

With the creation of the United Nations in 1945, the dissolution and the liquidation of the League of Nations in 1946, the League of Nations Headquarters in Geneva, the Palais des Nations, became the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).
However, this official name has changed many times before being formally established:

  • from August 1946 to April 1947 : "United Nations Geneva Office" (in French "Bureau de Genève" Circulaire d'Information du Bureau de Genève, Doc. IC/Genève/1);
  • from April 1947 to August 1948: "European Office of the United Nations" (in French "Office Européen des Nations Unies");
  • from August 1948 to August 1949: "United Nations Office at Geneva" (in French " Office des Nations Unies à Genève") (IC/Geneva 152)
  • from August 1949 to January 1966: "European Office of the United Nations", (in French "Office Européen des Nations Unies") (SGB/82/Rev. 1)
  • from 1 February 1966, "United Nations Office at Geneva", (in French "Office des Nations Unies à Genève") (ST/SGB/128/Corr. 1 du 9 fév. 1966)

Main Functions

The main functions of UNOG, as defined from 1946 to 1973, can be summarized as follows:

  • to serve as a centre for United Nations meetings in Europe;
  • to serve as a seat for the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the Permanent Central Opium Board (PCOB), and the Narcotic Drug Supervisory Body (NDSB);
  • to provide office space and conference facilities to Specialized Agencies;
  • to ensure the establishment of common services at Geneva;
  • to undertake other activities as requested by Headquarters.
    (Secretary General's Bulletin SGB/82 dated 1 July 1948)

These functions developped with the different reorganisations.

In 1966, the UNOG got new functions. Among them :

  • to serve as a seat for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • to represent the Secretary-General concerning relationships with the specialized agencies in Europe, as well as the International Atomic energy Agency. (ST/SGB/131 Oct 1966)
    As a result, the scope of these functions was enlarged between 1946 and 1973. Besides being the headquarters of ECE, the Division of Narcotic Drugs, the Joint Secretariat of Permanent Central Opium Board (PCOB) and Narcotic Drug Supervisory Body (NDSB), and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, it also housed the Division of Social Affairs, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) which was created in 1963, and the International Bureau for Declaration of Death of Missing Persons (IBD) since 1953. It was also the headquarters for the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) since 1951 and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) since 1966.
    The United Nations Social Defence Research Institute (UNSDRI), created in 1972 and located in Rome, was administratively attached to the Office of the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva.

Archival history

In 1946, at the demise of the League of Nations, the Library, along with all other LON assets - i.e. the archives of the Secretariat and the building - were turned over to the newly created United Nations. A Registry Section was created.

In 1961, the Registry Section belonged to Documents Division ( ST/SGB/123 1 March 1960) (ST/SGB/124 25 July 1961). Its tasks were

  • to classify files,
  • index the official correspondence of the Office;
  • to send correspondence to the appropriate officials for action or information,
  • to have custody of files,
  • to operate the diplomatic pouch service at Geneva.
  • to have custody of semi-active files and records, to recommend the disposal or transfer to archives of records no longer active (ST/SGB/131 October 1966).

    With effect from 15 March 1962, the Archives Section of the Library is transferred from the Office of Conference Services to the Office of General Services and will become part of the Registry Section. (ST/SGB/124/Amend. 1, 23 March 1962)

All the files concerning the Division of Narotics Drugs, the Joint Secretariat of Permanent Central Permanent Opium Board (PCOB), the Narcotic Drug Supervisory Body (NDSB), and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs were transfered in Vienna in 1979.

The UNOG Registry is always administrated by the UNOG Central Registry except SOA and SO series which were created by New York Registry.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access


Conditions governing reproduction

Records have to be ordered in advance; can have one file on desk; maximum 50 pages of copying per day.

Language of material

  • English
  • French

Script of material

    Language and script notes

    Physical characteristics and technical requirements

    Finding aids

    Finding aid available

    Allied materials area

    Existence and location of originals

    Existence and location of copies

    Related units of description

    Complement with United Nation archives in New York.

    Related descriptions

    Notes area


    UNOG archives mainly concern records created by UN offices operated or operates in the United Nations Office in Geneva.
    Protection period to: 1993-12-31

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        Archivist's note

        Responsible employee: Trippel-Ngai Esther (UNOG Library)

        Archivist's note

        Protection period duration: 20

        Archivist's note

        Protection period note:

        Archivist's note

        Permission: No permission necessary.

        Archivist's note

        Physical usability: Without limits

        Archivist's note

        Term of protection: UN Classified (20)

        Accession area