Reading Room


The reading room is accessible by appointment only. When making the first contact with ARMS, preferably by e-mail, state the research topic succinctly. The archivist will assist you in locating possible records of interest, and in reserving a desk for you in our reference room. As we are often booked weeks in advance, it is advisable to plan your visit with as much advance notice as possible. During the months of April - August, you MUST ensure you have a desk booked at least 2 months in advance of your visit, or we cannot  guarantee that you will be able to conduct research due to space issues. You will only be able to access the archives on the days for which you have pre-registered.


Who has access:

  • Secretariat staff, delegations to the United Nations, members of Permanent Missions and other internal users can consult the archives.
  • External researchers (professors, historians, lawyers, university students and the general public) have access to the archival collections for the purpose of their professional work or research studies.
  • If you have a physical or hearing disability, are visually handicapped or have special language needs, please contact us before your visit and we will discuss how we can assist with any special requirements.


Prior to your visit, you must:

  • Contact the reference archivist to organize your research
  • Register by completing a registration form (provided when you contact the reference archivist) 


What you need to bring: 

  • You must present valid identification (passport, drivers license, government-issued ID card, school ID or other photo identification) to access the UN Archives reading room.


What you can use:

  • The Reading Room has wifi available.
  • You are welcome to bring your laptop, tablet, cell phone and/or camera to take photographs of documents.
  • You are welcome to bring in pencils, pens, notebooks and loose-leaf paper
  • We have camera stands for your use, as well as a digital camera available on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  • Lockers and keys are provided for your bags, coats and other personal items. Please note that all bags, backpacks and other items are subject to security screening at the discretion of the reading room staff. 


Care and Handling of Archives

  • Handle all original items with care at all times
  • Do not remove documents from bundles
  • Do not disturb the order of papers within a folder or file (if documents appear to be out of order, please notify reading room staff)
  • Ensure that your hands are clean and free from lotions that may stain and add to the deterioration of the records
  • Do not place objects on the records
  • Do not mark any record (do not trace, highlight or underline archival material)
  • Turn folios carefully one at a time, ideally from the top right hand corner
  • Ensure that volumes are fully supported at all times
  • Do not lean on archival records when writing
  • Do not use items such as ‘post-it’ notes, cardboard, pens, pencils or memo pads to mark places in archival records (paper flags are available)
  • Report any damage such as loose or torn folios, so that they can be referred for preservation treatment.  



  • We are open Monday through Friday from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Please contact us for instructions on our location.
  • We are closed on United Nations Headquarters official holidays (New Year's Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Eid al-Fitr, Independence Day, Eid al-Adha, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day).