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 Personalities and Other Collections


Eric Drummond (1919–1933)
The personal papers of Sir Eric Drummond – other than those incidentally held at the League of Nations Archive in Geneva – were unfortunately destroyed by fire in World War II. Drummond was the first Secretary-General of the League, in office from 1919 to 1933.


Joseph Avenol (1933–1940)
Joseph Avenol replaced Jean Monnet as Deputy Secretary-General of the League of Nations in 1923, becoming Secretary-General in 1933 upon Sir Eric Drummond’s resignation. Avenol was widely criticised at the time for failing to protect the League against the manoeuvres of Germany and Italy, and of using the League as an extension of the French Foreign Ministry.

Avenol’s papers are split between the Private Papers of the League of Nations Archive in Geneva, and the archives of the French Foreign Ministry. The papers held at the League’s Archives number only seventeen files. The papers held in Paris extend to 43 volumes, and are now held not at the traditional home of the French Foreign Ministry’s archives at the Quai d’Orsay, but at a new facility in La Courneuve, in the Paris suburbs.

Ministère des Affaires étrangères et europénnes
Direction des Archives
3, rue Suzanne Masson
93126 La Courneuve Cedex

(00) 33 1 43 17 70 30
(00) 33 1 43 17 70 48
(00) 33 1 43 17 70 36
(00) 33 1 43 17 42 42


Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 5pm
RER B, Aubervilliers/La Courneuve

An annual reading pass will be granted to researchers on presentation of valid photo ID. It is probably best to contact the archive before visiting.

Archives (en):   
Archives (fr):       
La Courneuve (fr):   
List of private papers (fr):   


Séan Lester (1940–1947)

Séan Lester was appointed the representative of the Irish Free State to the League of Nations in 1929, and seconded by the League itself to become High Commissioner of the League of Nations to the Free City of Danzig in 1933. He became Deputy Secretary-General in 1937, and Acting Secretary-General in 1940 after the departure of Joseph Avenol to Vichy France, a position in which Lester remained until the League was shut down and its activities transferred to the United Nations. Lester was retroactively appointed Secretary-General in 1946.

Lester’s papers are split between University College, Dublin, and the League of Nations Archive in Geneva. The League of Nations papers are split between private papers in the ‘Private Archives’ sub-fonds, and the Secretariat files listed as the ‘Office of the Secretary-General (1939 (c) – 1947 (c))’. Both can be found by searching the online catalogue of UNOG (see above).

The Séan Lester papers at UCD consist of private and League files, as well as files relating to Lester’s other activities. There is a descriptive catalogue available at the library.

UCD Archives

James Joyce Library
University College Dublin
Dublin 4

(00) 353 1 716 7555
(00) 353 1 716 1146

Monday – Thursday, 10am – 5pm

The UCD Archives operate by appointment only, and researchers should contact the library in advance. A reader’s ticket valid for one year will be issued. Researchers are advised to use public transport, either the 39A or 46A buses.



The archives of the Secretaries-General of the UN are surprisingly scattered and haphazard. This comes as a direct result of historic archival procedure, which meant that Secretaries-General were, essentially, in control of their own papers and not required to give them to the United Nations archive. The guide here cannot, of course, be counted as containing everything, and further research will obviously be required.

Researchers should, in the first instance, use UNARMS’s dedicated page on the Secretaries-General (with the exception of Jebb).


Scholars should also note the published public papers of several Secretaries-General, edited by Andrew Cordier, amongst others. These should be available in academic libraries, or over the internet. These editions are available for Secretaries-General from Trygve Lie to U Thant, covering eight volumes, and all released by Columbia University Press. Charles Hill has also edited the public papers of Boutros Boutros-Ghali, running to 2400 pages on Yale University Press.


Gladwyn Jebb (1945–1946)

Baron Gladwyn, a distinguished British diplomat, was the Acting Secretary-General of the United Nations from 24 October 1945 to 2 February 1946, having previously been the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations from August 1945. He returned to the United Nations as Great Britain’s Ambassador between 1950 and 1954.

Baron Gladwyn’s papers are held in two locations: his personal papers at the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge, and his official papers at The National Archives at Kew, Richmond, both in Britain:

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College

(00) 44 1223 336087
(00) 44 1223 336135

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

Finding aid:       

Two forms of photo ID are required for use of the Churchill Archives Centre, and contact with the Centre is required before scheduling a visit. The files contain mostly personal correspondence and speech files. There is also an index to Baron Gladwyn’s papers at the National Archives.

The National Archives
United Kingdom

(00) 44 20 8876 3444

Tuesday – Saturday, 9am – 5pm (Tuesday, Thursday, 9am – 7pm)

Prior ordering of files is unnecessary at the National Archives, but scholars looking to start work immediately at the beginning of the day should consult the NA’s ‘Ordering Documents in Advance’ page. The Jebb files are listed as FCO 73/254 to FCO 73/268. There is no easy way to extract finding aids of the 15 volumes of his papers, but the appropriate search is provided here.


Trygve Lie (1946–1952)

Trygve Lie was Secretary-General – the UN’s first – between February 1946 and November 1952.

UNARMS holds very few files relating to Lie. The Lie fonds itself holds only some General Assembly meeting files. Further files, though not many, are held in the Dag Hammarsklöld papers, mostly concerning Lie’s meetings with Undersecretaries-General.

https://archives.un.org/sites/archives.un.org/files/files/Finding Aids/SG/AG-013_Trygve.pdf

The Andrew Cordier Papers at Columbia University (see below) hold some of Lie’s files in Boxes 116, 117, and 130, relating to trips and other subjects.

UNARMS suggests that Lie donated further papers to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, held at the National Library of Norway. These seem, however, to be held by the National Archives of Norway, and contain papers relating to World War II, to Lie's time as Secretary-General, and to his memoirs.  

Address: Riksarkivet PO Box 4013 Ulleval Stadion N-0806 Oslo Norway

Phone: (00) 47 22 02 26 00

Fax: (00) 47 22 23 74 89

Email: riksarkivet@arkivverket.no  

A finding aid is available on request by email, in Norwegian and English.


Dag Hammarskjöld (1953–1961)

The Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarskjöld was the UN’s second Secretary-General, taking office in April 1953. He was killed in a plane crash in the Congo on 18 September 1961, whilst supervising UN military operations there.

As is the case with Trygve Lie, UNARMS holds few of Hammarskjöld’s files. Further fonds of note, relating solely to the Congo crisis, are to be found in, and together with, U Thant’s papers.

Finding Aid:
https://archives.un.org/content/un-secretary-general-dag-hammarskjöld - Finding Aid DagH

The rest of Hammarskjöld’s papers are split between the Andrew Cordier Papers at Columbia University and the National Library of Sweden. The files at Columbia deal with trips, miscellany, various subjects, and peacekeeping and/or military matters (see below on Cordier).

The Swedish files contain memorabilia and correspondence, country files, photographs, trip files, and files relating to the Middle East and the Congo.


The National Library of Sweden/Kungl. Biblioteket
Box 5039
SE–102 41 Stockholm

(00) 46 10 709 30 00
(00) 46 10 709 39 25

http://www.kb.se/english/visits/hours/ (varies by season)

It is best to contact the library in advance, though it may be strictly unnecessary. A list of files, through the library’s ‘Eddifah’ search engine for manuscripts, is available, and is split between Swedish and English.

List:        http://www.ediffah.org/search/present.cgi?id=ediffah:kb:753647:1302174833&termlist=dag+hammarskjöld&boollist=and&fieldlist=set%3Bany&number=10&start=1&script=search.php


U Thant (1961–1971)

U Thant was unanimously elected Secretary-General a short time after the death of Dag Hammarskjöld, having previously been Burma’s representative to the UN. Having guided the UN through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the civil war in the Congo, the admission of dozens of states into the UN during the period of decolonization, and the establishment of agencies such as the UNDP, the UNEP, and the UN University, Thant retired in 1971. His death in 1974 caused a major political crisis in Burma – by then ruled by a military junta – which involved thousands rioting in Rangoon and the deaths of protestors.

The vast majority of U Thant’s files – there may be others in strictly private and closed hands – are held by UNARMS. UNARMS has also used U Thant’s files in the first step of its digitisation efforts. Many if not most of his files are therefore available online, through a simple search using the UNARMS website. It is strongly advised that the archival description on Thant’s UNARMS biography page are used in conjunction with this, as the search engine is rather sprawling.

Finding Aid:
https://archives.un.org/content/un-secretary-general-u-thant - Archival Fonds UT


Kurt Waldheim (1972–1981)

Kurt Waldheim, after an unsuccessful attempt to become President of Austria in 1971, was elected Secretary-General of the UN at the end of the same year. Having been re-elected in 1976, the People’s Republic of China vetoed his attempt to serve a third term. Running for President of Austria once again in 1985/6, Waldheim’s activities as an officer in the Wehrmacht during the Second World War caused an international furore, which some argued heavily diminished the integrity of the office of the Secretary-General. Waldheim’s past led him – despite a successful election to the Presidency, an office he held until 1992 – to be declared persona non grata by the United States of America in 1987. Waldheim’s term at the UN is notable mostly for his travelling, as well as heavy involvement in Middle East politics.

Waldheim’s papers are mostly split between his Austrian and UN service. UNARMS holds nearly 500 boxes relating to Waldheim’s time as Secretary-General, including his personal files and his correspondence with heads of state. A full archival description is available. Many files are also online through UNARMS’s search function.

Finding Aid:
 https://archives.un.org/content/un-secretary-general-kurt-waldheim - Archival Fonds KW

Another large collection of Waldheim’s papers is held at the Austrian National Library, the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna. There appears to be no finding aid for these papers, and potential researchers absolutely must contact the archive before arrival.

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books
Josefsplatz 1
1015 Wien                        

(00) 43 1 534 10 288
(00) 43 1 534 10 296

Collections (de):   
Collections (en):   


Javier Pérez de Cuéllar (1982–1991)

Javier Pérez de Cuéllar was elected Secretary-General of the UN in 1981, taking over from Kurt Waldheim, and having been active both as Peru’s representative to the UN and for the UN itself during the 1970s. During his tenure – he was re-elected in 1986 – he was prominent in mediation between Great Britain and Argentina after the Falklands War, in the negotiations for Namibia’s independence, and the Cyprus dispute.

The papers of Cuéllar that relate to his time at the UN are held by UNARMS: others remain in private hands and/or have yet to be released. UNARMS currently permits access up to 1989, though the period up to the end of 1991 will soon be opened.


Photocopies of the papers that Cuéllar used to write his memoirs, Pilgrimage for Peace, are held at Yale University Library. Yale also holds various miscellaneous papers of Cuéllar’s.

Manuscripts and Archives
Sterling Memorial Library
128 Wall Street
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven
CT 06520

(00) 1 203 432 1735
(00) 1 203 432 7441

Finding aid:   
FA (.pdf):       


Boutros Boutros-Ghali (1992–1996)

Boutros Boutros-Ghali was elected to replace Cuéllar in 1991, and is the only Secretary-General to have served a single term: his bid for a second term was vetoed by the United States, largely over his performances relating to Rwanda, Angola, and Bosnia. Perhaps his greatest contribution to the history of the United Nations – besides his repeated failure to act – was the writing of An Agenda for Peace in 1992, which introduced the concept of ‘post-conflict peacebuilding’ and firmed ideas of peacekeeping. Prior to his UN role, Boutros-Ghali was Egypt’s Foreign Minister for fourteen years.

UNARMS will open many of Boutros-Ghali’s papers in 2013, as restrictions are gradually lifted.

Finding Aid:
https://archives.un.org/content/un-secretary-general-boutros-boutros-ghali - FR Archival Fonds BB-G

More of Boutros-Ghali’s papers are held at the Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford University in California. These papers especially refer to Boutros-Ghali’s time as Egyptian Foreign Minister, but also include UN details, as well as some papers of Charles Hill, a special advisor to Boutros-Ghali at the UN. No finding aid seems available online.

Carol Leadenham
Hoover Institution Archives
CA 94305-6010
United States of America

(00) 1 650 723 3563
(00) 1 650 723 3445

Monday – Friday, 8.15am – 4.45pm



Kofi Annan (1997–2006)

Previously an Assistant Secretary-General from the late 1980s onwards, including responsibility for peacekeeping between 1993 and 1996, as well as being Undersecretary-General from 1994, Kofi Annan was elected Secretary-General in late 1996. Annan’s two-term tenure saw the instigation of the Millennium Development Goals, the Oil-for-Food scandal, and difficulties in asserting the UN’s role in the face of an increasingly unilateral United States of America.

Annan’s papers are not yet declassified, but UNARMS is undertaking a large declassification project and access should be more open soon. The declassification project is being undertaken in association with the publication of his public papers by Jean Krasno at Yale.

Finding Aid:
https://archives.un.org/content/un-secretary-general-kofi-annan - Archival Fonds KA


Ralph Bunche (1903-1971) began his association with the UN at the Dumbarton Oaks conference discussing its foundation. He was also key in drafting the UN Declaration of Human Rights. In 1948 he became the chief UN mediator in the Arab-Israeli conflict, his work in which gained him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950. Bunche was Undersecretary of Special Political Affairs between 1958 and 1967, and Undersecretary-General from 1968. Also a key figure in the American civil rights movement and a distinguished professor, Bunche died in 1971. He was the subject of a biography, Ralph Bunche: An American Life (1993), by Sir Brian Urquhart, perhaps the UN’s most eminent international civil servant.

Most of the Ralph Bunche papers are held in the Special Collections of UCLA in California, USA:

A1713 Charles E. Young Research Library

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
United States of America

(00) 1 310 825 4988
(00) 1 310 206 1864
Contact form

Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm

Potential researchers should contact the library via the contact form at least five days in advance of a visit, as files may be held offsite. Photo ID will be required for a UC library card.

Some files are held online, and are viewable through the general, and highly detailed online finding aid.

Finding aid:       

Also held at UCLA are the papers of Sir Brian Urquhart specifically relating to his Bunche biography. These files contain a wealth of further information on Bunche, and have been made available to the public.

Finding aid:   

Further, more private papers (correspondence with family, etc.) are held at the Schomburg Center in New York. Though more private, the archive does contain significant papers relating explicitly to Bunche’s UN work, including correspondence with Secretaries-General:

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
New York, NY 10037–1801
United States of America

(00) 1 212 491 2224

Tuesday – Thursday, 12am – 5pm; Friday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm (by appointment only)

Finding aid:       


Andrew W. Cordier

Andrew Cordier (1901-1975) was Executive Assistant to the Secretaries-General between 1946 and 1962. He was also, variously, Undersecretary in Charge of General Assembly and Related Affairs, and often a special representative of the Secretary-General (in Korea, during the Suez crisis, and in the Congo). He was forced to resign in 1962 after the USSR accused him of acting with too much independent authority. After Cordier left the UN he became Dean of the Columbia University School of International Affairs and President of Columbia University.

The Cordier files are emblematic of the confusing archive system left by United Nations files. His papers included many of the papers of Trygve Lie and Daj Hammarskjöld, either simply because he kept them or because they were used in the preparation of Corder’s published editions of their public papers. They also include Cordier’s files, correspondence, nearly 80 boxes of administrative folders, and memoranda on a wealth of topics, including Dumbarton Oaks, subject files relating to his time at the UN, and the setting up of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation.

The files are held at Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Library. For further information on contacting the library, opening hours, procedures, etc., see the entry above on the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Online catalogue:   
Full finding aid:       


    Julian Huxley (1946-1948)
    Jaime Torres Bodet (1948-1952)
    John Wilkinson Taylor (acting 1952-1953)
    Luther Evans (1953-1958)
    Vittorino Veronese (1958-1961)
    René Maheu (1961-1974)
    Amadou-Mahtar M’Bow (1974-1987)
    Federico Mayor Zaragoza (1987-1999)
    Koïchiro Matsuura (1999-2009)
    Irina Bokova (2009- )

UNESCO itself holds the archives of its Directors-General, at least for when they worked at UNESCO. The requisite files are located in two fonds, the ‘Documents of the Director-General’ and the ‘Secretariat Records’ which contain many personal files.

Other files are less simple to find, but the personal papers of perhaps the two most prominent Directors-General can be found in the United States. Help finding the other archives might be provided by UNESCO.


Julian Huxley (1946-1948)

Julian Huxley was the first Director-General of UNESCO, and was a prominent biologist and scientific humanist. His papers are held at the Woodsen Research Center at Rice University, Texas, and run to 91 linear feet. They include private correspondence.

Woodson Research Center
Fondren Library – MS 44
Rice University
P.O. Box 1892
TX 77251-1892

(00) 1 713 348 2586
(00) 1 713 348 6172

Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm

Huxley’s papers are open to the public, but researchers are advised to contact the library before a visit.

Finding aid:       
Guide to Huxley's papers:


Luther Evans (1953-1958)

Luther Harris Evans was the American Librarian of Congress under President Harry S. Truman (1945-1953), and then the Director-General of UNESCO. In 1952 he helped draft the Universal Copyright Convention at Geneva in 1952. His papers cover mostly the period 1945-1958, and are held at the Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
The University of Texas at Austin
Sid Richardson Hall
1 University Station D1100
TX 78712-0335
United States of America

(00) 1 512 495 4532
Reference Request Form


Researchers wishing to view Evans’s papers are best served by checking with the library in advance, though they are all open to the public.

Finding aid:       


    Maurice Pate (1947-1965)
    Henry R. Labouisse (1965-1979)
    James P. Grant (1980-1995)
    Carol Bellamy (1995-2005)
    Ann M. Veneman (2005-2010)
    Anthony Lake (2010- )

Some of the papers of UNICEF Executive Directors are held at the UNICEF archives. However, further papers of the first two Executive Directors are held at the Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University, New Jersey, in the United States of America.

Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
Princeton University
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
United States of America

(00) 1 609 258 6345
(00) 1 609 258 3385

Monday – Friday, 9am – 4.45pm

It is best to contact the Mudd before visiting, but files are held onsite and do not require prior ordering or registration.




Maurice Pate (1947-1965)

Finding aid:       



Henry R. Labouisse (1965-1979)

Of further interest to scholars is that the papers of Labouisse also contain documentation of his time as director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Finding aid:       



Carol Bellamy (1995-2005)

Though no papers are publicly available for Carol Bellamy relating to her time at UNICEF, personal papers up to 1985 are available via New York University. These are unlikely to be of great interest to students of internationalism, however.

Finding aid:       


    Albert Thomas (1919-1932)
    Harold Butler (1932-1938)
    John G. Winant (1939-1941)
    Edward Phelan (1941-1948)
    David A. Morse (1948-1970)
    C. Wilfred Jenks (1970-1973)
    Francis Blanchard (1974-1989)
    Michel Hansenne (1989-1999)
    Juan Somavia (1999- )

The ILO Archives hold many papers pertaining to the activities of all their Directors-General, plus the private papers of Albert Thomas and C. Wilfred Jenks.


John G. Winant (1939-1941)

Many of the papers of John G. Winant, including those relating to his time at the ILO, are held in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, though there is no finding aid.

Archives Department
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum
4079 Albany Post Road
Hyde Park, NY 12538
United States of America

(00) 1 845 486 1142
(00) 1 845 486 1147
orAsk the Archivist

Monday – Friday, 8.45am - 5pm


David A. Morse (1948-1970)

The papers of David A. Morse, under whom the ILO won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969, are held at the Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University. For details on the Mudd, see the entry in this guide on UNICEF Executive Directors.

Finding aid:       



    Eugene Meyer (1946-1946)
    John J. McCloy (1947-1949)
    Eugene R. Black, Sr. (1949-1963)
    George Woods (1963-1968)
    Robert S. McNamara (1968-1981)
    Alden W. Clausen (1981-1986)
    Barber Conable (1986-1991)
    Lewis T. Preston (1991-1995)
    Sir James Wolfensohn (1995-2005)
    Paul Wolfowitz (2005-2007)
    Robert B. Zoellick (2007- )

The papers of the Presidents of the World Bank are scattered: before Alden W. Clausen, each President took most of his papers with him upon his departure. The World Bank archive itself (see the institution entry above) holds the relevant papers of Presidents from Clausen onwards, and some of the papers of Presidents from McCloy to McNamara, in the 'Records of the Office of the President' fonds. Other papers may be found in the Central Files. Eugene Meyer, the first President, appears to have no accessible public papers, but his four successors have left papers open to researchers. The World Bank website contains a section on all the World Bank Presidents which may provide helpful background information.  


John J. McCloy (1947-1949)

McCloy’s presidency of the World Bank forms only part of a long and distinguished career in public service. His papers – containing six folders relating to World Bank work – are held at Amherst College, of which McCloy was a trustee, though there may be further papers of interest in the National Archives of the United States, the Truman Presidential Library, and the Ford Foundation.

Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
PO Box 5000
MA 01002-5000
United States of America

(00) 1 413 542 2299
(00) 1 413 542 2692
Contact form

Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm

Files may need to be requested 24 hours in advance, so it is probably best to check in advance with the library.

Finding aid:      


Eugene R. Black, Sr. (1949-1963)

Black stayed at the World Bank for so long – three terms of office – that it began to be caricatured as ‘Black’s Bank’. His papers are held at the University of Georgia.

Hargrett Library
Main Library
320 S. Jackson St.
University of Georgia
Georgia 30602-1641
United States of America

(00) 1 706 542 7123
(00) 1 706 542 0672

Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm; Saturday, 1pm – 5pm
University holidays; University of Georgia home football games

Researchers should contact the library before visiting via the ‘Reference Request Form’ online. A ‘Researcher Application Form’ will need to be brought to the library, along with valid ID.

Finding aid:       
http://hmfa.libs.uga.edu/hmfa/view?docId=ead/ms1108-ead.xml;query=eugene black;brand=default


George Woods (1963-1968)

The papers of George Woods are held at Columbia University. For details on the Rare Book & Manuscript Library Collections, see the entry in this guide for the Carnegie Endowment. The Woods papers, as they are rarely accessed, are held offsite, and at least 24 hours’ notice is required to view them. For some files (the Country Economic Briefs), permission from the World Bank is required for use.

Finding aid:       
http://findingaids.cul.columbia.edu/ead/nnc-rb/ldpd_4078355/summary - scope_content


Robert S. McNamara (1968-1981)

The papers of Robert McNamara, formerly US Secretary of Defense for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, largely begin in 1968 with the start of his tenure at the World Bank.

The Library of Congress
101 Independence Avenue, SE
Washington, D.C. 20540
United States of America

(00) 1 202 707 5000

Monday – Saturday, 8.30am – 5pm

Finding aid:       
FA (.pdf):       


    Camille Gutt (1946-1951)
    Ivar Rooth (1951-1956)
    Per Jacobsson (1956-1963)
    Pierre-Paul Schweitzer (1963-1973)
    H. Johannes Witteveen (1973-1978)
    Jacques de Larosière (1978-1987)
    Michel Camdessus (1987-2000)
    Horst Köhler (2000-2004)
    Rodrigo de Rato (2004-2007)
    Dominique Strauss-Kahn (2007-2011)
    Christine Lagarde (2011- )

The papers of the Managing Directors of the IMF are largely held in the ‘Office of the Managing Director Fonds’ at IMF headquarters. The fonds has a 900-page finding aid, and covers most of the office’s activities from 1951 onwards. Other fonds at the IMF will also cover the Managing Directors’ activities.

Finding aid:       


Camille Gutt (1946-1951)

Though there is not a great deal of interest to students of the IMF besides his correspondence from the time, the papers of the IMF’s first Managing Director, Camille Gutt, are held at the Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Contemporary Society (Ceges-Soma) in Brussels.

Square de l’Aviation
1070 Brussels

(00) 32 2 556 92 11
(00) 32 2 556 92 00

Monday – Friday, 9am – 12am, 1pm – 5pm

A reading room card at CEGES-SOMA can be purchased for €1 (one week) or €2.50 (one year). Papers are orderable at various points of the day.

Finding aid (Fr):   


Per Jacobsson (1956-1963)

Along with those papers held by the IMF, Per Jacobsson has left an unusually large documentary trail, including a private diary. His papers are kept in Basel, split between the archive of the Bank of International Settlements (see above), and Basel University.

Universitätsbibliothek Basel
Schönbeinstrasse 18-20
CH-4056 Basel

(00) 41 61 267 31 00; (00) 41 61 267 31 30
(00) 41 61 267 31 03

Contact form (De)

Hours (De):     

Fonds (De):   

The archive of Basel University maintains a website that is in German only, but should provide the necessary details for potential researchers.


Private archives:   


    Brock Chisholm (1948-1953)
    Marcolino Gomes Candau (1953-1973)
    Halfdan T. Mahler (1973-1988)
    Hiroshi Nakajima (1988-1998)
    Gro Harlem Brundtland (1998-2003)
    Lee Jong-wook (2003-2006)
    Margaret Chan (2007- )

Other than any collections held at the WHO, few indeed of the Directors-General appear to have private papers held by archives.


Brock Chisholm (1948-1953)

Chisholm was the Executive Secretary of the Interim Commission of the World Health Organization (1946-1948), and then the WHO’s first Director-General. The small collection of Chisholm’s papers is held by Library and Archives Canada. The archive contains mostly speeches, lectures, articles, and correspondence.

Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N4

(00) 1 613 996 5115
(00) 1 866 578 7777
(00) 1 613 995 6274

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9am – 4pm; Tuesday, Thursday, 10am – 5pm

Potential researchers must first request a user’s card online, and then order a retrieval of documents remotely via an online form.



Szeming Sze (1908-1998)

Sze was an important Chinese diplomat and an instrumental figure in the development of the WHO into a UN agency. Sze proposed the "Draft Declaration" for an international health organization on the joint behalf of Brazil and China at the San Francisco Conference. He also coined the name of the organization as the "World Health Organization." Sze later became chief of specialized agencies for the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. In 1948, he became the medical director of the United Nations. The collection held at University of Pittsburgh mainly contains Sze’s papers in English between 1945 and 1988. The bulk of the material covers 1945 to 1947. Much of the content is digitized at this link.

ULS Archives Service Center
University of Pittsburgh Library System
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260

(00) 1 412 648 3232



There are several large archival collections that related to the United Nations and internationalism more generally. This section of the guide is a far from complete miscellany that might be of use to scholars.


United Nations Oral History Project (Yale University, New Haven)

Sponsored by the Institution for Social and Policy Studies of Yale University, the United Nations Oral History Project interviewed UN officials, ambassadors from various countries, and other participants in events including the San Francisco conference on the founding of the UN, the founding of Israel and subsequent Middle East wars, the Congo, Korea, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and many other topics.

The tapes and transcripts are available at the Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University. For more information, see the entry for Javier Pérez de Cuéllar in this guide.

Finding aid:   
FA (.pdf):       

Further oral histories are available (at cost) as the result of the efforts of the United Nations Intellectual History Project. The transcripts are available as a book, UN Voices, or CD. Interviewees including Kofi Annan and other highly important officials.

UNIHP Orals:   
UN Voices:       


United Nations Career Records Project (Bodleian Library, Oxford)


The UNCRP at the Bodleian Library brings together the private papers, memoirs, and interviews of many, mostly British people intimately associated with the United Nations of NGOs working closely with it. The collection includes papers of workers affiliated with the FAO, WHO, UNHCR, UNESCO, and ILO, as well as papers relating to UNDP, UNCTAD, UNICEF, UN Statistics, and personal papers of officials. There is a large collection on peacekeeping, including papers of workers and observers of the UN operation in the Congo in the 1960s, as well as the UN Force in Cyprus.

Bodleian Library
Broad Street

(00) 44 1865 277162
(00) 44 1865 277182

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm; Saturday, 9am – 4.30pm; Sunday, 11am – 5pm

Scholars requiring more information should email modern.papers@bodley.ox.ac.uk. The papers of the UNCRP are in addition to the vast holdings of the Bodleian itself, including innumerable collections of interest to the international historian.


Aletta, Institute for Women’s History (Amsterdam)


Aletta is an international archive of the women’s movement and other gender issues, located in Amsterdam. It contains the papers of over 600 individuals and organizations, and may be of use for scholars, though a lot of the collection relates to Dutch matters.

Aletta, Institute for Women’s History
Vijzelstraat 20
1017 Amsterdam
The Netherlands

(00) 31 20 5611281

Monday, 12pm – 5pm; Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 5pm



Herbert H. Lehman Collections (Columbia University, New York)


The Herbert H. Lehman Collections at Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library mostly concentrate on the papers of Lehman himself (a partner of Lehman Brothers, Governor of New York, US Senator, and director of UNRRA), but also contain microfilms of the UNRRA papers held at UNARMS, and the papers of four UNRRA officials other than Lehman: Hugh R. Jackson, Sir Robert G. A. Jackson, Marshall McDuffie, and Richard B. Scandrett. The correspondence files of Lehman himself cover a great deal of the most important politicians and other notables around and after the Second World War. The collection as a whole is therefore an indispensable tool in looking at the UN’s early reconstruction efforts in Europe.

Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Butler Library, 6th Floor
Columbia University
535 West 114th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States of America   

(00) 1 212 854 5153
(00) 1 212 854 1365


Finding aids:       


The National Archives (London)

This guide has not attempted to delve into the innumerable papers on international organizations held in national archives. However, the British National Archives have made two especially useful research guides on their primary materials. As an example of what might be found, and what can be achieved by national archivists for international historians, they are included here.

League of Nations:   
Britain in Europe:   


IO BIO - Biographical Dictionary of Secretaries General of International Organizations

Edited by Bob Reinalda, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and Kent Kille, The College of Wooster, Ohio, USA.

The IO BIO Project is designed to create a biographical dictionary with short biographies of Secretaries-General (SGs), or other executive heads with different titles, of International Organizations (IOs). IO BIO is designed to give a more complete picture of SGs and their interactions. It focuses on those SGs of intergovernmental organizations who have left a mark for any reason, whether good, bad or unusual. IO BIO includes deceased SGs and those who have been out of office for five years or more and most probably will not return in office as SG. The Project excludes non-governmental organizations for practical size reasons.

IO BIO has a set of initial biographies in place on the website and will add more. Among them are Joseph Avenol (League of Nations), Eugene Black (World Bank), Harold Butler (ILO), George Chisholm (WHO), Julian Huxley (UNESCO), René Maheu (UNESCO), Gerrit Jan van Heuven Goedhart (UNHCR), George Woods (World Bank Group) and Eric Wyndham White (GATT).

IO BIO is looking for experts willing to write an entry, but also for people willing to support the Project with their comments, ideas, and suggestions for potential authors for entries. Please see the website for further details.