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United Nations Special Collection at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano: United Nations Sales Periodicals and Official Records

Local collection is presented and links are proposed for United Nations reference materials

The United Nations System of Depository Libraries

In 1947 the United Nations Depository Library Program introduced the United Nations Depository Library System; the system consists in depository libraries spread in the world collecting and putting at disposal official records and periodicals to local users.

Nowadays, there are 348 libraries in 135 countries and one territory, depository libraries are national, parliamentary, academic libraries or libraries belonging to organizations and research centers. Local collections depend on when the library was accepted to participate to the system and the kind of deposit chosen (full or partial).

Our collection was born in 1969, it was a full deposit in French language, later documents and periodicals were published mainly in English, nowadays the local collection is growing mainly online.

The System is lead by the Dag Hammarskjöld at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

The Dag Hammaraskljöd Library at the United Nations Headquarters in New York has as its main task to offer documents and information services to the whole United Nations System, and the Secretariat staff and Member States’ permanent missions in New York.

There are other United Nations Libraries in the world and the one in New York is a reference for them and the depository libraries (national libraries or research libraries) belonging to the United Nations Depository Libraries System.

Moreover the Library offers services worldwide and free of access using the United Nations Digital Library, giving access to United Nations Official Records (documents) and Periodicals (Publications as Scholarly Journals or Yearbooks issued by different United Nations bodies, agencies, funds, programs,  ...), addressed especially to researchers.

Other services offered worldwide are a live chat active when users navigate the United Nations Digital Library, the Ask DAG service consisting of FAQs and research suggestions written in English, but translated also in other languages and different research guides.

The Dag Hammaraskljöd Library digitization program is ongoing, and it is following different approaches:

  • A priority has been given to important documents issued by the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council before 1993
  • Systematic digitization defines a specific group of documents which are then uploaded as a batch, for instance, documents related to a Conference or a single Body.
  • On-demand digitization (ad hoc digitization project).

Digitized or digitally born documents and some periodicals have been at the disposal of the public by the United Nations Digital Library since 2016, in the following years the Digital Library online collection continually grew.

For a view of future developments, please refer to the "Strategic Outlook" for the years 2024-2028. In the document, the UN Depository  Library programme is due to develop into a new "UN Knowledge Network", which will be called "UN Charter Libraries Knowldege Network".

United Nations Periodicals and Parliamentary Documents Special Collection

Tavola rotonda 2019

UCSC Library has been part of the United Nations Depository Libraries System since the 17th of April 1969. The Library received both periodicals and official documents. A project has retrieved those periodicals (December 2016-July 2017) and documents (2018) and put them at the disposal of users updating catalogue records and creating new ones to make them searchable.


The local collection's fiftieth anniversary was celebrated on the 19th of April 2019 with a Library and Political Science Department joint event.

A representative from the UNOG, a Librarian, was a speaker, along with two UCSC professors in International and European law.