With launch of oral history collection, UN sheds light into its past

19 January 2012

A collection of more than 200 interviews covering major events in the history of the United Nations was launched today at the world body’s Headquarters in New York, and will be accessible to the public through a website.

A collection of more than 200 interviews covering major events in the history of the United Nations was launched today at the world body’s Headquarters in New York, and will be accessible to the public through a website.

The UN Library’s Oral History Collection consists of interviews conducted over the course of 25 years with former delegates, UN staff members and journalists, all of whom recounted their experiences on major world events.

They also discuss various crises and wars of independence, as well as topics such as apartheid, weapons of mass destruction, and what it was like to work with former Secretaries-General Kofi Annan and Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

The audio files and interview transcripts, which were conducted by UN staff and Yale University researchers, also include discussions held during the creation of the UN Charter as well as reflections of staff members who remembered what it was like working at Hunter College before the Headquarters moved permanently to Manhattan’s East Side.

The Collection seeks to shed light on the history of the founding of the Organization and its role in conflict resolution since 1945, and to be a useful primary source of information for scholars and the media that spotlights the activities of the UN during turbulent periods in world history.

 

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