Alexander Library has been collecting United Nations documents and publications useful in conducting research for Model UN since 1945. The collection is in open stacks, but doing research for Model UN and locating relevant sources may require some experience with the documentation. This guide is designed to get you started.
If you received a Model UN packet, bring it with you. The packet generally contains a bibliography that will provide citations and save valuable time in tracking down appropriate material.
This guide is divided as follows:
Useful guides to the literature include the following.
Some general sources noted below may prove useful in your initial Model UN research. Related secondary tools including bibliographies, catalogs, and directories may be found in adjacent sections of the Government Documents Reference collection at Alexander Library. Browsing may be helpful.
Other tools may also be useful for recent country information. For instance, if you are representing a Latin American country, consider using the following resources.
TO LEARN WHAT POSITION THE COUNTRY YOU REPRESENT HAS TAKEN in the United Nations several options are currently available. Once identified, many documents are available online. Others can be located in the collections at Alexander Library.
For material prior to the mid-1980s, use the appropriate Index to Proceedings. Each organ's index is published either each session or annually. You may search the indexes in a variety of ways:
Microfiche and print versions of full text resolutions are also available at Alexander Library. For earlier print sources see:
General Assembly Official Records, Supplement (No.). All GAORs which contain the resolutions and decisions for a given session have been placed together in ALEXANDER DOCREF JX1977.A414 in stack 108. Similar compendia for the other main organs are filed with each organ's Official Records series in Government Publications stack 18.
Resolutions and Decisions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly Issued at the (Session No.). This Press Release was normally the first available compilation in which to find recent resolutions. Votes are also given. These are in ALEXANDER DOCREF JK1977.A449.
United Nations Resolutions, Series I: General Assembly (ALEXANDER DOCREF JX1977.A3155D57), by Dusan Djonvich, reproduces all General Assembly resolutions from 1946 through 1985/86 and provides tables showing how countries voted on them.
United Nations Resolutions, Series II: Security Council (ALEXANDER DOCREF JX1977.A515a), by Dusan Djonvich, is similar to the above. This compilation is available for resolutions from 1946/47 through 1978/79 only.
The print Indexes to Proceedings are useful if you know the specific time period and organ that dealt with the issues being studied.
You will obtain three basic types of citations:
The specialized agencies, e.g. UNESCO, WHO, WIPO, IMF, World Bank Group, etc., have their own reference tools and web sites. While Alexander Library obtained many of their publications prior to 2016, many are made available online. Working documents may not be as widely available. Many of Alexander Library's reference tools for researching these agencies are shelved in DOCREF stack 107-109 by Library of Congress number. Please ask for assistance in locating and accessing specialized agency material.
Annual reports of the specialized agencies to the Economic and Social Council are valuable information tools, as are U.S. Congressional hearings.
Basic sources which profile the specialized agencies include:
A selection of basic print reference tools for accessing UN treaty information includes:
If you don't find the documents you need online, and can use a print or microfiche alternative, proceed as follows.
If you are unable to locate an item, check with librarians at the Reference Desk. While many UN materials have been cataloged and may be located using QuickSearch, others remain uncataloged and use local classification numbers.
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