UNHCR Archives External Fonds
The UNHCR External Fonds hold records related to its predecessors, the International Refugee Organization (IRO) and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), in addition to the records of the Liquidator of the Nansen International Office for Refugees (1931-1939). These records date back as early as 1921 and provide insight into the transition from IRO to UNHCR, as well as some of the early concerns facing the international community regarding European refugees in the interwar and post-WWII periods.
In addition to these collections, the External Fonds contain the personal papers of several key figures in the history of UNHCR.
Note: The IRO operated primarily between 1946 and 1951. UNHCR holds only a small part of IRO files.
When it closed, its general records were placed in the Archives Nationales de France (Fonds AJ 43). There are only a few individual case records. More information may be found by writing the Archives Nationales, 60 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 75141 Paris, FRANCE. The main bulk of the Individual Case files are kept with the International Tracing Service; you can contact them at Internationaler Suchdienst, Grosse-Allee 5-9, D-34444 Arolsen, Germany.
From mid-World War II through 1946, European refugee issues were addressed by the UNRRA. The retention of individual case files was limited. Inquiries may be addressed to the Archives and Records Centre, United Nations, New York, NY 10017, USA.