Dag Hammarskjöld Library

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Dag Hammarskjöld Library in 2010
Etched-on-marble entrance sign

The Dag Hammarskjöld Library is part of the United Nations headquarters and is connected to the Secretariat and conference buildings through ground level and underground corridors. It is named after Dag Hammarskjöld, the second Secretary-General of the United Nations.

The library has specialized in two major areas. Firstly, it is the main depository for United Nations documents and publications and maintains a selected collection of materials of the specialized agencies and United Nations affiliated bodies. Secondly, the library collects books, periodicals and other materials related to the organization's programs of activities.


The Dag Hammarskjöld Library was founded with the United Nations in 1946. It was originally called the United Nations Library, and later the United Nations International Library. In the late 1950s, the Ford Foundation gave a grant to the United Nations for the construction of a new library building. Dag Hammarskjöld was instrumental in securing the funding for the new building. The new building was dedicated on November 16, 1961[1] just two months after Hammarskjöld's death, and was renamed in his honor.


The library's primary function is to enable the delegations, Secretariat and other official groups of the United Nations to obtain, with the greatest possible speed, convenience and economy, the library materials and information needed in the execution of their duties. The materials to be assembled and the services to be maintained are determined by the needs of these groups.

The services of the library are also made available, as far as feasible, to UN specialized agencies, accredited representatives of mass media, international governmental organizations, affiliated non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, scholars and writers.

The library is not open to the general public. However, it does provide access to much UN-related information by developing freely accessible online resources and services, and via UN depository libraries worldwide.

Resources and services[edit]

The library has created a number of research tools and services to ease the access to United Nations Documents:

  • The Index to Proceedings (ITP) is a series of print indexes, especially useful for research on matters prior to 1979. It provides citation to the parliamentary documentation of the principal organs. Each index has two parts: a subject index and an index to speeches delivered.
  • UNBISnet is the catalogue of the library. In addition to the library's holdings it accesses multilingual versions of UN documents. In addition to the catalogue it includes two specialized databases: the Index to Speeches and the Voting Records databases.
  • The UN Documentation Research Guide presents an overview of selected UN documents, publications, databases and websites.
  • Ask Dag is a database providing hundreds of answers about the United Nations, its documentation, as well as the services and resources offered by the library.
  • UN Member States on the Record: Provides access to the key documents for each Member State related to its membership in the UN, statements made before the principal organs, draft resolutions sponsored, periodic reports submitted on Human Rights conventions.
  • United Nations Digital Library: The Digital Library includes UN documents, voting data, speeches, maps, and open access publications. The platform provides access to UN-produced materials in digital format and bibliographic records for print UN documents starting in 1979. System features include linked data between related documentation such as resolutions, meeting records and voting, and refining of searches by UN body, agency or type of document.


  1. ^ "Hammarskjold Library Dedicated". The New York Times. November 17, 1961. p. 5. Retrieved 2010-07-09.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°44′56″N 73°58′09″W / 40.74889°N 73.96917°W / 40.74889; -73.96917