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UC Berkeley School of Law Library UC Berkeley School of Law Library BerkeleyLaw Library

United Nations Documentation: AccessUN

This in-depth primer provides guidance on using UNBISNET, ODS, UN-I-QUE, and other tools to identify, understand, and locate UN documents

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Commercially produced online index covering UN documents and publications issued from 1946 to the present.

Produced by the Readex corporation as a finding aid for UN documents scanned onto READEX fiche

The only online index that covers older UN documents not yet incorporated by UNBISnet.


Bibliographic Records from 1948-Present

  • Mastheads
  • Sales Publications
  • Official Records
  • Miscellaneous Documents
  • Periodicals
  • Indexing of individual articles
  • Bilateral and Multilateral treaties contained in the UN Treaty Series
    • Beginning with vol. 925, includes subsequent treaty action instruments (e.g. ratifications)
  • Citations to UN sales publications although their images do not exist on Readex microfiche

Full-text Documents

selected documents are appended to the respective bibliographic citations incl. SC resolutions (from 1974 on) and GA and ECOSOC resolutions from 1983.

Special Features

Noteworthy Treaty Citation Features

To search AccessUN efficiently for citations to treaties published in the UNTS, treaty researchers should become familiar with the following special features:

  • the "Document Number" field is used for the UN treaty registration number, followed by the parenthetical phrase "Treaty Series", for example, 27531 (Treaty Series)
  • UNTS volume and page number appear in the (searchable) "Series Information" field - thus a UNTS citation can be used for finding the respective treaty citation in AccessUN, see the search example below
  • Parties to bilateral agreements are included in the title field (preceding the actual title) and also treated as subjects; they can be searched via title and subject fields
  • Multilateral as well bilateral agreements have the word "Text" inserted at the end of the title
  • Title fields usually include information about place & date of conclusion/adoption.

Search Tips

AccessUN's "Help" link offers well written and clearly organized search instructions with numerous search examples included. Search fields and search options are described in detail except that no details or examples are given for AccessUN's citations to treaties that were published in the UN Treaty Series.

UseAccessUN as an alternative to using Hein's UNTS citation finder/ EISIL and the UN Treaty Collection Database if you have a treaty citation (e.g. 1577 UNTS 3) but no other information.

From the main AcessUN search screen enter <volume 1577 and p. 3> [p. + space + number] and search "in All Fields": It will bring up the wanted treaty citation, covering the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child. AccessUN does not have the full text but does provide

  • location of a treaty in the UNTS and/or
  • the exact title of a treaty and/or
  • other treaty data such as its registration number, date of conclusion, etc.

Has some rare gaps

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