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UNNGO PeaceeverTV According to the UN video news reprint report : At a press briefing held this morning, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva and the Library and Archives of UN Geneva presented the new platform as a breakthrough for the knowledge on the history of multilateralism.

A new era has dawned for researchers of international diplomacy wanting to mine the archives of the United Nations predecessor, the League of Nations. Ten linear kilometres of paper documents have been digitalized, providing unlimited access online to the institutional memory of the League of Nations.

The platform democratizes access to the exceptional wealth of archival documents managed by the UN Library & Archives Geneva, including early international peace movements, the League of Nations, the United Nations Office at Geneva and other UN entities. It gives unrestricted access to people worldwide, emphasized Francesco Pisano, Director of the UN Library & Archives in Geneva --not only to diplomats, academics, journalists, but also students sitting in any country with internet access.

 In years past, some 150 persons per year were coming in person to consult the archives at the UN Office at Geneva. According to Blandine Blukacz-Louisfert, Chief, Institutional Memory Section, UN Geneva, since the launch of the platform last December, “more than 1,200 people, different people, different individuals visited the platform. So, it's really a huge difference. We got some feedback from users, and they really insist on the democratization of access to these archives that it represents.
“We sometimes do not know how important these archives are for our current work. Because quite often we think about the League of Nations, about history. But quite often, in order to find answers and solutions to current challenges, it’s really important to learn lessons from the past. That’s why this institutional memory is so very important,” said Director General Tatiana Valovaya.
“This is just the beginning of the project,” concluded Ms. Valovaya. “We are presenting you an idea of Geneva as a centre of history of multilateralism and a centre of knowledge.”
“This is a massive project: for the substance in terms of archiving, digitalizing all the archives. This is one of the biggest that was ever attempted in the world. It’s massive for the UN,” Pisano said
The platform represents an outstanding opportunity for researchers all over the world to develop new perspectives and new methodologies. It will contribute to a better understanding of multilateralism, according to the UN Geneva officials. It allows the public to interact with UN Geneva archivists and get their assistance to navigate through the collections. It also highlights new services and research partnerships, which can contribute to the renewal of studies on the history of multilateralism.

By the end of 2022, the entirety of the archives will be freely available online. The platform also includes visual material, such as the Photo Collection of the League of Nations. Those archives are registered on the UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register and document the activities of the predecessor institution to the UN, from 1919 to 1946.

Preserving and fostering access to primary sources is at the core of the UN Library and Archives Geneva’s mission. Its new platform can contribute to better understand the world.