UN General Indexes: Finding UN Publications by Subject,
Title, or Author at UW-Madison's Memorial Library

General indexes...

Please note: This guide will tell you how to find citations in indexes. To locate the actual documents, see the guide Locating United Nations Documents at Memorial Library at http://www.library.wisc.edu/guides/govdocs/un/locating.htm

For additional help please contact the government documents reference librarian (262-9852; bharper@library.wisc.edu), or ask at the Reference Desk, Room 262.

Descriptions of Electronic Indexes

1979-present (UNBISnet database)

1966-present (Access UN database)

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1966-present (Index to United Nations Documents and Publications database)

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Overview of UN General Print Indexes

How they work

Each issue/volume of a UN-produced general index has several parts. Usually, you'll use just two of these parts: 1) indexes, and 2) checklists of documents.

1) Indexes
  • What they do:
    • Index the checklist, i.e. tell you where to go in the checklist to find out more about each document or publication.
    • At most, the indexes give you a document symbol, title, issuing agency, and year it was issued.
    • At a minimum, indexes tell you where in the checklist to find full bibliographic information.
    • In either case, because documents are hard to locate, it's advisable to look at the full bibliographic entry in the checklist before trying to search for the document. You may find that the document you're looking for is only 2 pages long, or had limited distribution, or is not worth hunting down for some other reason.
  • How they're organized:
    • All UN indexes have subject, title, and some kind of author indexing.
    • Sometimes, they're combined into one index; often, there are separate indexes for subject, title, and corporate author/personal name.

2) Checklists of documents (Called "Checklists" or "Documents and Publications")
  • What they do:
    Give full bibliographic information for each publication. Entries usually include:
    • Document symbol/Sales publication number
    • Full title
    • Author or issuing body
    • Kind of publication/document
    • Publication date
    • Number of pages
    • If it's included in the official records, where in the official records to find it
  • How they're organized:
    Documents in checklists are listed either by document symbol or by arbitrarily-assigned identifying numbers.

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Examples of index & checklist entries

From United Nations Document Index (UNDI), 1963. Each entry refers to the same document.

Subject entry from UNDI: Cumulative Index - Part 1, Volume 14 -. 1963, p. 60
CUBAN SITUATION
Documents

S/5259 Cuba. Letter, 11 Mar, alleging continued aggressive acts by United States

Checklist entry from UNDI: Cumulative Checklist, Volume 14 - 1963, p. 112
S/5259. Letter dated 11 Mar 1963 from the deputy Permanent Representative of Cuba addressed to the President of the Security Council. 13 Mar 1963. 16 p.
Concerns Cuban situation.

From UNDOC: Current Index, United Nations Document Index, 1995-96. Each entry refers to the same document.

Subject entry from UNDOC, 1995-96, "Subject Index," fiche 10, p. 6194
EAST TIMOR-RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
----Letter dated 94/07/18. A/49/267 (000643)

Title entry from UNDOC, 1995-96, "Title Index," fiche 3, p. 4571
Letter dated 94/07/18 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General.
	(000643)	A/49/267

Name entry from UNDOC, 1995-96, "Name Index," fiche 2, p. 2764
Germany
----Letter dated 94/07/18. A/49/267 (000643)

Checklist entry from UNDOC, 1995-96, "Documents and Publications," fiche 2, p. 84
 A/49/267	(000643)
S/1994/853
Question of East Timor. - Letter dated 94/07/18 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General. - (New YorkD : UN, 20 July 1994.)
     2 p.
     "Annex: Statement on East Timor, issued by the European
        Union on 18 July
     1994" : p. 2. Language versions:  A, C, E, F, R, S.
Photo-offset.
Doc. No.: N9429601.

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Descriptions of Print Indexes

Quick links to indexes covering... 1950-1962: UNDI 1963-1973: UNDI 1974: UNDEX
1975-1977: UNDEX 1978: UNDEX 1979-1982: UNDOC 1983: UNDOC 1984-1996: UNDOC

1950-1962 (UNDI)

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1963-1973 (UNDI)

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1974 (UNDEX)

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1975-1977 (UNDEX)

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1978 (UNDEX)

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1979-1982 (UNDOC)

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1983 (UNDOC)

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1984-1996 (UNDOC)

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Page created April 1999; last updated 12/07/05.

Created by Beth Harper & Jessica Donohoe.
Maintained by:
Beth Harper
Government Documents Reference Librarian
276 Memorial Library
728 State St, Madison WI 53706
608/262-9852