Most League of Nations documents may be identified by one or all of the following numbers:

  • Official number
  • Sales number
  • Committee or Conference number

Use the Finding Aids listed on the previous page to help find documents in the relevant subject area.

Retrieval of a document located in a Catalogue of publications

Explanation of numbering

There are two copies that can be retrieved from the stacks. They are as follows:

Official number: These numbers are found in the upper right corner of the first page of a publication. They cover Assembly, Council documents and Circular Letters send out from the Secretariat to one or more of the Member States of the League.

For example, see Committee for the International Repression of Terrorism. Report Adopted by the Committee on April 26th, 1937. Geneva, 1937, 13p

C.222.M.162.1937.V

This number indicates that the item is a Council document. It is the 222nd document distributed in 1937 to Council members, and the 162nd document distributed to League members. As the National Library holds only documents distributed to members, the item is filed within the Council document set by Member number (M162). Find this at League of Nations papers, call number CAC SQ341.1/LEA.

When requesting the item, fill in the year (1937) and Number (162) in the relevant fields in the online request form.

Sales number: These numbers are found on the verso of the title page or the lower right corner of the title page. A finding aid such as Consolidated catalog of League of Nations publications offered for sale gives the sales number for each document; in most cases, both the official number and the sales number are given. In our example document, the sales number is:

Ser.LoN.P.1937.V1

If you only have the sales number, when requesting the item through the Catalogue at League of Nations papers, request the year (1937) and specify Document number V1.

The document will be delivered in a bound volume (pictured). Volumes also include indexes.

League of Nations report

Case Study

League of Nations Resolution

I am looking for a recommendation of the Assembly of the League of Nations 10 October 1932 concerning the return of objects of national artistic heritage after theft or illegal export found in another country.

We can use the online finding aid at Primary Source Media, selecting League of Nations Documents and Serial Publications, 1919-1946. In this case, we can search for “works of art.” This gives the League of Nations title:

Preservation of Historical Monuments and Works of Art.

Date: Nov. 23, 1932

Additional Information: C.L.176.1932.XII[A]: Form ltr. by the SG, forwarding an Assembly resolution, Oct. 10, concerning the transmission to governments by the Committee on Intellectual Cooperation of the recommendations drawn up by the Athens Conference concerning the preservation of historical monuments and works of art.

The note in this entry confirms that we are looking for an Assembly resolution, so we can go to the National Library Catalogue record for Records of the ... ordinary session of the Assembly. Meetings of the Committees; we need to request the year 1932. The resolution is also noted in the index under ‘Arts and Letters’ and is repeated in Committee meetings and Plenary Meetings.

In the Eighth Plenary Meeting, Monday October 10th, 1932, agenda item number 40: Work of the international organisation for intellectual co-operation : report of the sixth committee : resolutions.

"Preservation of Historical Monuments
(11) The Assembly
Approving the resolution adopted by the International Committee on Intellectual Co-operation and acceding to the latter's request that it should communicate to the Members of the League the Recommendations drawn up by the Athens Conference concerning the preservation of historical monuments and works of art :
Entrusts to the Organisation for Intellectual Co-operation the task of transmitting the said recommendations to the Governments on its behalf."

The index of the records also lists Committee sessions where the resolution was discussed.