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United Nations Documents: Document types

Guide to United Nations Documents in Joyner Library

Official Records (OR)

The main organs' meeting records, published after they have been corrected, edited, and summarized. They consist of:

General Assembly (GAOR),

Disarmament Commission (DCOR),

Economic and Social Council (ESCOR),

Security Council (SCOR),

Trusteeship Council (TCOR), and

Trade and Development Board (TDBOR).

Sales Publications

Mimeographed Documents that are thought to have lasting value or usefulness are reprinted in final corrected form and are available for sale to the public. Sales Publications are cataloged in Joyner Library the same way as are books.

Includes some Sales Publications that have never appeared in mimeographed form; these are usually pamphlets issued by the Office of Public Information.

 Identified by a sales number made up of the year of the publication, a Roman numeral indicating the subject category, and an Arabic numeral indicating the order in which the publications in a subject category are issued, (e.g. the sales number of the 1967 edition of the Statistical Yearbook was 68.XVII.1).

Most sales numbered publications also have a UN document series symbol. Sales numbers are not used in cataloging a book.

Mimeographed Documents

The working papers of the UN; not intended for public use.

Include draft resolutions, verbatim records of meetings, preliminary reports, etc.; often only issued in mimeographed form.

Documents all come with a UN document series symbol, e.g., A/AC.105/INF.39

Documents are arranged by agency. Certain series within a classification are not by agency, but by type. Thus, A/AC.105/INF.39 is the 39 th document in the Information series (INF) of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (AC.105) of the General Assembly (A).

A more in-depth explanation of the system may be found in United Nations Document Series Symbols, 1946-1996 (Ref JX 1977 A12 U47 1998).


Image of outside the UN Building


The UN, primarily through its Secretariat, issues a number of periodicals each year. A complete listing of periodicals from 1950-1962 is found in the annex to the February issue of the United Nations Documents Index for those years. From 1963 through 1978, a complete listing was given at the end of the UNDEX, Series C annual cumulative checklist.