League of Nations Documents

Harvard College Library's Government Information Services are housed in Lamont Library. Its collection includes the League of Nations documents and publications. This guide lists some of the most useful research tools related to League of Nations material and notes their location.

Finding Aids

Many of our League of Nations publications are cataloged in full in Harvard's HOLLIS Classic Catalog. However, some research will require additional bibliographies to find the relevant material. The following should prove helpful:

Reno Edward, ed. League of Nations Documents 1919-1946.
Location: Microforms (Lamont) Index Film A 1150
Location: Documents (Lamont) LN Doc 6651.9.11
Location: Law School Mic JX1975.A2.L42x
This major finding tool is a descriptive guide and key to the comprehensive League of Nations microfilm collection of 555 microfilm reels, in Film A 1150. It is arranged by the subject categories established by the League of Nations (see section Document Numbering by Subject Category of this guide).

Primary Resource Microfilm from the micropublishers who produced the League of Nations microfilm, provides an online search tool for the same collection.  Select collection title League of Nations Documents and Serial Publications 1919-1946, then enter your search.

Additional sources are:
Consolidated Catalog of the League of Nations: Subject index pages 423-477.
Location: Documents (Lamont) LN Doc 6651.35

Aufricht, Hans. Guide to the League of Nations Publications: a bibliographic survey of the work of the League 1920-1947.
Location: Documents (Lamont) LN Doc 6651.32

Baer, George W. International organizations, 1918-1945: a guide to research and research materials.
Location: Documents (Lamont) Ref JX1995.Z99 B33 1991x

Ghébali, Victor Yves. A repertoire of League of Nations serial documents, 1919-1947.
Location: Documents (Lamont) LN Doc 6651.34

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League of Nations Documents 1919-1946. (555 microfilm reels)
Location: Microforms (Lamont) Film A 1150
Location: Law School Mic JX1975.A2.L42x

Location: Documents (Lamont) LN Doc 6651.9.11
Location: Microforms (Lamont) Index Film A 1150

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Major Documents

Official Journal
Location: Documents (Lamont) LN Doc 6652.4
Location: Documents (Lamont) LN Doc 6652.4.3
Official Journal contains minutes of the Sessions of the Council of the League, text of reports and resolutions, as well as documents by or for the Secretariat. Special supplements include the records of the Assembly and of its Committees.

Index to Official Journal
Location: Documents (Lamont) LN Doc 6652.4.2 (1920-29)
Indexes prior to 1928 published in special supplements. Annual index for other years is part of annual volume of Official Journal.

Location: Documents (Lamont) LN Doc 6653.20 - 6653.47
These documents are arranged by year and then by subject categories as described in Document Numbering by Subject Category of this guide.

Monthly Summary
Location: Documents (Lamont) LN Doc 6652.13F
Summary of each month's activities in each branch of the League.

Statistical Yearbook
Location: Documents (Lamont) LN Doc 6654.2.25
Synopsis of international demographic, economic, social and financial statistics.

Treaty Series
Location: Documents (Lamont) LN Doc 6654.5
Treaties and International Agreements registered with the Secretariat.

Index to Treaty Series
Location: Documents (Lamont) LN Doc 6654.50.5
Alphabetical and chronological index to treaties in French and English.


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Document Numbering by Subject Category

The following Roman numerals indicate the particular section of the League from which these documents have emanated.

Document Class Document Type
I. A.  Administrative Commissions
I. B. Protection of Minorities
II. Economic and Financial Section
III. Health
IV.  Social Questions
V. Legal Section
VI.A.  Mandates
VI.B. Slavery
VII. Political Section
VIII.  Communications and Transit
IX. Disarmament
X. Financial Administration of the League
XI. Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs
XII.A. Intellectual Cooperation
XII.B. International Bureaus
XIII. Refugees


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League of Nations Numbers

Official Numbers:

Numbers in upper right of title page refer to Council and/or Assembly document.

For example:    C.340.M.28.1928.II
     C- Council
     1928 - year in which document is distributed
     340 - designates the 340th document distributed to Council members in 1928
     M.28 - means 28th document distributed to members of League who are NOT members of Council
     II - class mark for Economic and Financial Section of Secretariat

Another example:     A.3.1931 signifies the third document distributed to Assembly in 1931.
(Some "A" documents which cover the same subject, appeared under the same number each year, except for date)

From 1920-21 the League used a different system for official numbers e.g. 20/29/1
     20 - year
     29 - arbitrary symbol for council
     1 - first document distributed to Council in 1920

Assembly followed the same pattern using "48" as the symbol for the Assembly

Publication Numbers:

Beginning in 1926 a Publications Sales Number was added to the lower right corner of all documents. e.g. 1929.II.47
Meaning the 47th document issued for sale from the Economic and Financial Section in 1929.

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United Nations Office at Geneva Library/Archives has the archival holdings of the League of Nations Archives and Historical Collection Unit. The description of the various files are searchable from the UNOG Library Registry, Records and Archives Unit's search form.

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Other Online Resources

League of Nations: Statistical and Disarmament Documents are available from Northwestern University.
Northwestern University Library has developed a site with selected League of Nations documents on the founding of the League, international statistics published by the League, and the League's work toward international disarmament.

League of Nations Photo Archive is available at Indiana University's Center for the Study of Global Change. This site contains more than photographs. It includes:

  • Digitized photographs from the League of Nations Archives photograph collection.
  • A bibliography of League of Nations books, dissertations, journal and magazine articles.
  • A timeline, a list of conferences, and various lists of participants, including delegates, prime ministers and foreign ministers of member countries; also lists of all Assembly and Council sessions, as well as the journalists who covered the proceedings.
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Page Last Reviewed: July 17, 2009