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UNHCR Headquarters Fonds

© UNHCR / M. Pearson

UNHCR established a Central Registry in 1951 with responsibility for filing the official records of the entire Headquarters staff. Nearly any subject of concern to the organization can be found in these files. The Classified Subject Files of the Central Registry for 1951-1970 (Fonds 11,1) provide a valuable resource for scholarship. In addition to documenting the legal protection work of UNHCR, these records trace the activities of the first two decades, from early assistance to European refugees to large scale operations on the Indian sub-continent and in Southern Sudan. The basic filing scheme was to use a number for each main topic, with subordinate topics coded with a number and a slash or one or more blocks of letters. The Central Registry function at Headquarters was closed in 1995.

The UNHCR Archives Access Policy opens for research many files more than twenty years old. Before research is possible, UNHCR must review file content to ensure there is no release of personal information related to refugees or to other persons of concern to UNHCR.

In addition to the Central Registry Fonds 11, the Headquarters Fonds include the records of the High Commissioners, External Affairs, Protection, Assistance Operations and Regional Bureau. A complete listing of Headquarters Fonds with links to finding aids is available.