Find UN treaties in the online Historic Archives

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Are you studying or teaching international law? The United Nations’ Historic Archives is a free online research and training tool, providing access to multi-media resources on almost every subject of international law.

Historic Archives is especially useful to find UN treaties in various fields of law, including the procedural history and preparatory documents (travaux préparatoires) for each of these treaties.

UN Historic Archives

Every entry is devoted to a particular legal instrument. The tabs at the top of an entry give access to the following material:

  • Introductory note: an introduction by a distinguished international law scholar;
  • Procedural history: an overview of the negotiation and adoption of each instrument;
  • Documents: information on select preparatory documents (travaux préparatoires), including relevant resolutions, draft texts, meeting reports and records of the proceedings. Links to electronic versions of the documents are provided when available.
  • Status: information on the status of the treaty, made available through a link to the website of the depositary.
  • Video/Audio/Photo: film footage, audio recordings, interviews and photos, relating to meetings at which the treaty was negotiated or adopted, or to other related events.

For more information, please refer to the guide How to use the Historic Archives.

Audiovisual Library of International Law
Historic Archives is part of the Audiovisual Library of International Law which also contains a Lecture Series and Research Library. It is maintained by the Codification Division of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs.

How to find a treaty?
Do you need help finding a treaty? The Law Library offers a manual: How to find a treaty. It consists of a short explanation of terms and definitions used, followed by an overview of useful sources.