Papers of the United Nations Career Records Project

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Eng. c. 4655-748, c. 4797, c. 5229
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      96 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

The collections consist of the papers of respondents, who were asked to complete a questionnaire by supplying biographical information and details of the length and nature of UN service. In addition to this, they were invited to contribute recollections in whatever form they desired, together with such contemporary papers as they considered appropriate.

Administrative / Biographical History

Based at St. Antony's College, Oxford, under the Honorary Directorship of Richard Symonds, a retired UN official, the first stage of the United Nations Career Records Project (UNCRP) ran for three years from September 1989. The chief objective was to secure the recollections and memoirs of UK nationals, whether living in Britain or abroad, or of other nationals living in Britain, who were employed by the UN and its Specialized Agencies. Material was also sought from UK nationals who served as Permanent Representatives to the UN, or Government Representatives at conferences or on governing bodies of UN Agencies, as well as from UK nationals who worked with Non-Governmental Organizations accredited to UN Agencies. Although the project is thus primarily concerned with the influence of Britain on the UN (more experts were recruited by UN Agencies in the 1950s and 1960s from Britain than from any other country) there are, exceptionally, materials from nationals of other countries not living in Britain. (A fuller account of this phase of the project is provided in 'The United Nations Career Records Project, Final Report on First Stage 1989-92' by Richard Symonds.)

Conditions Governing Access

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see

Certain material is at present closed to readers. Papers contributed by John Saunders concerning UNRRA in Greece, UN in the Congo and UNICEF in Cambodia fall into this category as do less substantial contributions from John Alves, Celia Berry, Oliver Knowles, Anthony Zagni and Douglas Williams, together with several of Col. Patrick Montgomery's papers. Most will be available by the year 2005.


Collection level description created by Emily Tarrant, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

A cataalogue of the collection is avialable online at

Related Material

See also the Papers of Sidney Dell (1918-90) (MSS. Eng. c. 5798-889).