The archives of each department of the United Nations Secretariat is arranged in a discrete collection, or ‘fonds.’ In addition to these departmental collections, there are also records from former Central Registry of the United Nations:
- Registry Files: the first records registry was set up during the London period of the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations (between 21 November 1945 and 31 January 1946) and patterned after that of the British Foreign Office. The system was discontinued in 1979, however, the fonds include records dating up to 1983. The registry system was succeeded by decentralized recordkeeping by departments in consultation with the Archives Section's records management programme.
- Departmental archives: arranged according to the departmental organization of the Secretariat (from 1946 to present) and include the archives of: the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, the Office of Legal Affairs, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the Office of Public Information, the Department of Trusteeship and Non-Self Governing Territories, the Department of Political and Security Council Affairs, and many others.