This UN Library tool has been helping researchers for 65 years

Monday, 21 May 2018

New York | Dag Hammarskjöld Library

Are you a new delegate trying to find your country’s previous statements on a particular topic? Or how your country voted on previous resolutions?

The Index to Proceedings has been providing answers to questions like these and many more since 1953.

What is the Index to Proceedings?

The Index to Proceedings is prepared by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library in New York.  It is a series of publications about the documentation of the General AssemblySecurity CouncilEconomic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council.

Anyone who has ever undertaken historical research on the United Nations has likely found the Indexes to be their saving grace.  The Indexes are one of the few organized sources of information about the early years of the UN.

They offer a path into what really happened by detailing who spoke when, about what, how resolutions were voted on, and how subjects were treated and considered.

The Index to Proceedings of the General Assembly was first published in 1953 and covered the 5th regular session, held in 1950-1951.

This year, the Index to Proceedings celebrates its 65th anniversary.

How is the Index to Proceedings created?

The Indexes are produced by a small team within the Library, responsible for painstakingly going through all the documentation of each session or year, by body, to extract the metadata (including voting data and speeches) to compile the publications. 

“Several generations of librarians have worked on this invaluable tool, and I am proud to continue their work of helping people find their way through the activities of the main organs of the UN,” says Valeria Werner, editor.

“Having digitized all the print versions of the Indexes, we are now looking into ways of making the information even more accessible in the United Nations Digital Library.”

The full collection of the Index to Proceedings is available on the Dag Hammarskjöld Library website

Learn more about the Indexes with these Ask DAG  FAQs on the topic.