The Audiovisual Library's mission is to provide access to and preserve the audiovisual archives from over 70 years of the history of the Organization. The AV Library makes the audio, film and video collections widely accessible to UN Offices, UN Family Organizations, professional media organizations, broadcasters, independent producers, governments, institutions and non-governmental organizations, researchers and civil society at large. We also aim to support audiovisual productions and foster public understanding of the United Nations and its goals by providing customer services and audiovisual materials in a timely and efficient manner to professional clients around the world.
The Audiovisual Library holdings comprise a hybrid collection with both analog and digital records. The AV collection has over 100,000 physical items with approximately 6,330 hours of 16 and 35mm films, 49,400 hours of video recordings, and 18,000 hours of audio recordings in a wide variety of systems and formats. In addition, our Photo Library also holds approximately 800,000 photographs, with over 90,000 available for high-resolution download from the Photo Library website. Our unique analog and historic collections are being digitized selectively as resources are made available. Some of the low-resolution files are already available for research and viewing purposes on this website, while the high-resolution versions are made available on demand.
As of June 2013, selected meetings and events coverage recordings, as well as new productions by UN Television and Radio, are available on our various web sites, mobile and social media platforms.
Among the major archival groups and series are:
- League of Nations and the selected film coverage of the work of UNRRA;
- United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration in Europe (1945-1947);
- UN Headquarters construction;
- Security Council and General Assembly meetings and special events, selected international conferences, press conferences and press briefings;
- UN Concerts;
- UN Television feature documentaries and selected out-takes;
- UN Radio news, interviews and feature programmes;
- raw footage of worldwide UN field activities covering development issues and peace-keeping missions, among other topics; and
- various thematic and historical compilations.
- Providing clients with information about UN audiovisual collections, reference services, research, an online catalogue, screening, and access to audio and video recordings. Information is provided on-site, on our website, or Contact Us. For more on how to use this website to locate audiovisual materials from our collections, please visit our "Website FAQ" page. The Library also works with other UN offices, governments and major archival institutions to make sure that the UN audiovisual history is preserved and accessible for future generations.
- Providing on-demand services for high-resolution raw footage or recordings of major UN meetings and events happening at the Headquarters in New York, as well as historic recordings of UN Radio and UN Television programmes, Secretaries-General's collections, Press Conferences, Press Briefings, and Interviews, among other items on a wide range of topics including human rights, peacekeeping, development, education, health, conflict resolution, and humanitarian assistance. Requests can be made for use in professional news, features, educational videos, multimedia pieces, and other productions. Recordings and footage are available for download either directly from this website or upon request. To request a high-resolution file, please fill out our AV Library Request Form.
The Library is open to its clients between 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (EST), Monday through Friday. Please contact us for further inquiries and to schedule on-site research.