Period IV

Photo/Foto: Library United Nations Geneva.

The UN-Library Goes Digital

The International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace was celebrated in Geneva on 24 April 2019. A remarkable project, financed by a Swiss foundation that wants to remain anonymous, is the digitisation of all the archives of the League of Nations and the United Nations, its successor. It is a gigantic project, more than 15 million documents that are part of the archives of the organisation, created 100 years ago on the initiative of the President of the United States, Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924). The concept of international cooperation and administrative implementation was subsequently developed in Geneva and the city continues to be the global centre of multilateralism. In the 19th century, Henri Dunant (1928-1910) was already able to establish the Red Cross in 1863, thanks to the financial support and the network of Geneva residents.

This digitisation of the archives is very important. Digital access will enable  historians from all continents to consult the archives and also to re-interpret some sensitive files. The archives can also be easily shared with other research institutions all over the world. The 100th anniversary will be celebrated in 2019 with various events in the United Nations Library and museums on 100 years of multilateralism in Geneva. (Source and further information: