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History: United Nations History

Secondary Sources

Evaluating Your Source

For Secondary Sources

  1. Look at the evidence the work/book/article presents. Try to corroborate other evidence and authors' research/argument with the work you are reading.
  2. What is left out of the argument. Should the author have considered other factors -- compare this with other secondary works
  3. Does the author have any credentials to be writing on the subject (look a the bio); is this an academic journal (not a magzine)?

For Primary Sources

  1. In general think about "who" (person, organization, kind of group or person, country) might be interested in information about your topic. This helps you to identify what to go looking for in primary and secondary sources
  2. Think about any bias or perspective the group, etc. might have and how that might color how their collection and presentation.
  3. What was the purpose of the document, etc. Sometimes a newspaper is written for a  less educated but literate audience whereas an offical document may be written for legal purposes. 

United Nations Documents

Miami University Libraries have United Nations documents dating back into at least the 1950s. However, we were/are not a depository, that is collection comprehensively all UN publications. The majority of the collection focuses on the Security Council and the Social and Economic Council (SEC) although the SEC is more spotty. All documents are shelved either in the UN Collection in the lower level of King Library or in SWDepository (which is storage) or, for more modern documents, in electronic format. All of the documents should be cataloged in Miami's online catalog. However, to discover many of the early documents it may be easier to use an index below. All UN documents have a Library of Congress Call number, the same classification used for the general book collection, but again are shelved in a special section on the lower level of King Library.


A Good Beginning 

Online Indexes:

These titles tend contain more recent documents, since 1990ish. Some do have selective historical documents, but are probably not complete.

Printed Indexes to printed resources

These indexes will provide subject access to printed resources and would be more comprehensive for documents before the 1990s. Once you find the bibliographic information and then go to the library's catalog/OhioLINK/WorldCat to look up the document.

Other Primary Sources

United States Government Documents

Newspapers and Magazines

Use newspapers to track public sentiment, analysis, and events.

League of Nations and Other International Organizations Documents