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The Potsdam University Library holds a United Nations documents collection that stores United Nations material since 1973. In 1995 it was designated as United Nations Depository Library, an official member of the United Nations Depository Library System. It was given the status of a "full deposit" library, meaning that it received the documents and the publications. Since 2007 it holds the status of a "regular deposit" library, thus continuing to receive and collect the publications. From 2007 onward the documents are available online only. UNBISnet, the online catalogue of the UN Library, provides access to the full text of recent documentation in all six official UN languages.
Any written material which is issued by or for the United Nations is termed either document or publication. The term document refers to any mimeographed material, such as provisional minutes and sessional records, and advance versions of conference reports, state reports and resolutions. The term publication covers any printed material, mostly for sale, such as monographs, periodicals and series. Yearbooks, studies, indices, treaty collections, and statistical compilations are publications. The Official Records, i.e. the revised versions of meeting and conference reports as well as of resolutions are also treated as publications.
In the United Nations Depository Library Potsdam documents and publications are arranged according to the alphanumeric United Nations documents system. This system categorizes by body, not by subject.
The function of the United Nations depository libraries is to communicate, disseminate and promote public information about the goals, programmes and activities of the United Nations, set forth in the UN Charter. The libraries receive documents and publications issued by the United Nations on deposit, in order to make them freely available to researchers in all fields of study and to the general public in their region.
The majority of the publications held in the United Nations Depository Library Potsdam are listed in the online catalogue of the University Library. They are not for loan, but can be photocopied in the entrance hall or borrowed under certain terms. Since they are not freely accessible, please ask the reference librarian at the information desk in the Departmental Library in Babelsberg for help. The mimeographed documents can be checked out or photocopied in the entrance hall. Please turn to the reference librarian for this as well. UN documents that are not available for loan anymore are accessible via UNBISnet online.
The United Nations Depository Library Potsdam holds a collection of documents and publications of the six principal United Nations organs in English, i.e. of the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Secretariat and the Trusteeship Council from 1973 on and of the International Court of Justice from 1993 on. All resolutions of the main bodies are available from 1946 on, until 1994 partly also in French, Russian and German. This collection also covers several reference books. The flagship reference publications of the UN, the Yearbook of the United Nations and the United Nations Treaty Series are available from the initial edition beginning in 1946.