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Course & Subject Guides

United Nations Documents & Publications - Oakland Campus

This guide is designed to help library users to find United Nations materials in Hillman Library and on the web.

UN Collection Location

All United Nations documents are currently shelved at Thomas Boulevard. Please contact Christopher Lemery for more information. 

UN Sales Numbers

Here is an example of a sales number: UN/ 98.III.A.27

Sales numbers consist of the following parts:


  • a “UN/” which indicates this is an item within the United Nations collection;
  • a two-digit number indicating the year the item was published (in the example, “98” for 1998);
  • a 0, or a Roman numeral, or a Roman numeral with a letter, indicating a specific subject group or “category” ( “III.A.” in the example).  
  • a number (“27” in the example).

To find a sales publication on the shelf, go to the sales publication section of the UN collection.  Then:

  • Scan the sales numbers, looking first at the middle of the numbers for the Roman numeral/letter combination you want.  (In the example, sales numbers that contain “II.A.”)
  • Within that group of publications, look at the beginning of the numbers for the two-digit year you want.  (In the example, look within the “II.A” publications for sales numbers beginning with “UN/96.”)
  • Finally, look at the end of that group for the specific number you want. (Look within the group of “UN/96.II.A.” numbers for number “2”.)

Here are some sales numbers in the order in which they appear on the shelf:


UN/ 08.I.1  

UN/ 97.III.A.1   

UN/ 12.III.D.9 

UN/ 04.III.S.7

For a complete list of Sales Numbers categories, see the UN Standing Orders webpage.

UN Document Symbols

Each UN document has a unique symbol at the top right of the document or on the cover page. Document symbols consist of a combination of numbers and letters. Generally, the first component of a symbol after the “UN/” indicates the parent organ of the UN which has issued the document. For example, a call number beginning with "A/" denotes a General Assembly document, while "S/" denotes a Security Council document. Additional components may indicate secondary bodies and/or document types. Here is an example of a complete UN document symbol:




Items with document symbols are arranged strictly in alpha-numeric order with numbers preceding letters.  Here are some symbols in the order in which they appear on the shelf:


UN/ A/CN.4/SER.A/2006   UN/ E/ECSWA/SD/2012/1  UN/ LC/G.2332-P/2006    

For more discussion of document symbols, see the UN research guide, UN Document Symbols.