Online Exhibits

The UN Archives photo gallery has photos relating to the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), Chinese National Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (CNRRA), United Nations Korean Reconstruction Agency (UNKRA), and the architecture of the Secretariat Building. 

Connect on our Facebook Page for pictures, updates, and archival news. 

Mapping the Early History of the United Nations

Mapping the Early History of the United Nations Seventy-five years ago, on 26 June 1945, representatives of 50 nations signed the Charter of the United Nations in San Francisco. It took another seven years before the construction of the permanent headquarters in New York City was completed. The UN finally occupied its permanent headquarters in 1952. Before signing the Charter, there were many significant meetings and declarations that preceded the San Francisco Conference that happened around the world. Likewise, in the interim period between 1945 and 1952, the United Nations temporarily resided and met in a number of different locations. This exhibit showcases some of the significant milestones (and their locations) which led to the creation of the United Nations in 1945, as well as some of the temporary locations where the Organization resided and met prior to settling down in midtown Manhattan.

Seven Decades of Peacekeeping

Seven Decades of PeacekeepingSince 1948 there have been more than 70 peacekeeping missions around the world, many of which are still active today. Together, these missions have involved hundreds of thousands of troops and were supported by massive financial contributions from UN Member States. The breadth and scope of these endeavors generated millions of documents, the most important of which have been transferred to the United Nations Archives and Records Management Section (UNARMS) for permanent preservation. In the following exhibition you can become familiar with the active and inactive United Nations peacekeeping operations as well as the records that we have for them.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is 70

 The UDHR was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948.  It sets out principles for the political and civil rights of individuals such as equality before the law; protection against arbitrary arrest; the right to a fair trial; freedom from ex post facto criminal laws; the right to own property; freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; freedom of opinion and expression; and freedom of peaceful assembly and association. It also enumerated economic, social, and cultural rights as the right to work, the right to form and join trade unions, the right to rest and leisure, the right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being, and the right to education.

This page contains links to our the finding aids for our paper archives and links to the full text of key documents from our collections.

Our Colleagues from the UN Dag Hammarskjöld have their own exhibition as well. Access is here.


The United Nations at 70

In commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations, the Archives and Records Management Section (ARMS) presents key documents, photos and artifacts from the early years of the Organization, spanning from 1945 to 1951. This virtual exhibition showcases material from seventy years of United Nations archives which are housed at the Organization's Headquarters in New York City. It is structured around four major themes: the foundation of the UN at the San Francisco Conference of 1945, the beginnings of the Organization at the temporary Lake Success Headquarters and the first challenges faced by the Organization in the implementation of humanitarian and disarmament programmes. 

The Children of Grugliasco

In 2015 when the UN Archives did an exhibition for the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations, we displayed some archives of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). Included among them was a picture of young Peter Tannenbaum, and a letter from his father to the Director of UNRRA. The Tannenbaums had survived the Holocaust, and were living in an UNRRA-administered refugee camp in Grugliasco, Italy, where Peter had just been born.

Oscar Niemeyer and the Board of Design

Oscar Niemeyer, the youngest member of the Board of Design in charge of the United Nations Headquarters died Thursday, 5 December 2012, at the age of 104. Niemeyer left a great legacy that has and will inspire many generations of architects to come.

To celebrate Niemeyer’s work and pay tribute to one of the most audacious architects of his time, the Archives and Records Management Section (ARMS) presents exhibition: “Oscar Niemeyer and the United Nations Headquarters (1947-1949).” In honor of his contribution to the Board of Design, we have published photographs of blueprints, clay models, press clippings, graphic renderings, aerial views of New York.

The Board of Design was comprised of ten architects from around the world under the direction of Wallace K. Harrison: Sven Markelius, (Sweden), Le Corbusier (France), Ssu-ch'eng Liang (China), G.A. "Guy" Soilleux (Australia), Nikolai Bassov (Soviet Union), Ernest Cormier (Canada), Gaston Brunfaut (Belgium), Howard Robertson (United Kingdom), Julio Vilamajó (Uruguay) and Oscar Niemeyer (Brazil). The team started working at the beginning of 1947 at an office in Rockefeller Centre. They elaborated 50 different schemes that were then criticized, analyzed and reworked by the whole team.



United Nations Korean Reconstruction Agency (UNKRA)

On 25 June 1950, South Korea was attacked by North Korea. Shortly after, the Unified Command intervened to try to restore peace and to bring relief to the population. To support the South Korean Government in its task of reconstruction, the General Assembly created the UN Korean Reconstruction Agency (UNKRA) by its resolution 410 (V) on 1 December 1950. UNKRA was finally able to start its programme 180 days after the cessation of hostilities which prevented the Agency to be fully operational because of security issues. Its efforts were focused on industry, mining, agriculture, education, housing and health in order to improve the economy and promote Korea’s long-term growth. During UNKRA’s operating period it implemented 260 major projects for a total expenditure of $127 million dollars, which equals $924 million in 2012. The video, the photo galleries and the timelines show the achievements of UNKRA in collaboration with the Government of South Korea and its people during this period of reconstruction.