Symmetrically balancing the Council Building across the Cour d’Honneur is the six-storey Library Building.
The Library was created for the League of Nations in 1919 and has been open ever since. (Its doors remained open during World War II.)
Operating from this building since 1937, the UN Library at Geneva is one of the richest bibliographical collections in Europe.
It has more than one million volumes in specialized areas of international law, international relations, economic and social development, energy and environmental policy.
In addition to its books, the Library maintains a unique collection of historical records – including the archives of the League of Nations and documentary records of international cooperation since the early 1900s.
It was created “to serve as a centre of international research and an instrument of international understanding”.
This purpose was greatly assisted in 1927 when the Library received a donation of US$2 million from the American philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
Rockefeller wrote that “peace must finally be built on the foundation of well-informed public opinion”.
Robert B. Fosdick, one of his aides, later told him: “I do not think that any sum you have spent is going to have a wider influence”.
The Library now has three cyberspaces – the first was opened in 1997 – to provide global Internet access to its resources.