Our collection at the National Library consists of the major documents of the League of Nations.
These are 'The Official Journal' and special supplements, monthly summaries, statistical yearbooks and Treaty Series, as well as publications from the principal organs, committees, commissions and conferences.
We have digitised a selection of publications from our collection. We have focused on the organisation's non-political functions, as they constitute a great part of the League's activities:
- Financial and economic section
- Permanent Mandates Commission
- Communications and transition
- Intellectual co-operation and the International Bureaux
Also online are publications giving background to the League:
- 'The League from year to year'
- 'Essential facts of the League'
- 'Ten years of world cooperation, Secretariat of the League of Nations, 1930'
- 'The Council of the LN'
- 'Aims, methods and activity of the LN'
About the League of Nations
The League of Nations was the forerunner of the United Nations.
It was an international organisation, based in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded at the Paris Peace Conference on 24 April 1919, it was set up to enable collective security, arbitration of international disputes, and disarmament.
Other facts about the League:
- It was established under the Treaty of Versailles, the peace treaty that formally ended the First World War and was signed on 28 June 1919
- Part one of the Versailles Treaty, i.e. the Covenant of the League of Nations, was the constitutional document of the League
- According to this constitution, the League's purpose was 'to promote international co-operation and to achieve international peace and security
- The Covenant also included the establishment of a Permanent Court of International Justice.
Even though it managed to contain various international disputes, the League ultimately failed to prevent the Second World War, and was formally abolished in 1946.
- Yale Law School: Covenant of the League of Nations
- 'Chronology of the League', available as a PDF on the United Nations Office at Geneva website
- 'A History of the League of Nations' by F P Walters [Oxford University Press; London, 1952]
- 'League of Nations: A pictorial survey' on the World Digital Library website
- League of Nations archives
- League of Nations Total Digital Access Project This five year project, launched in 2017, will see the entire League of Nations archives digitised. This will ensure digital and physical preservation and free online access to around 15 million pages of archival documents of the League of Nations.