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League of Nations Documents and Serial Publications, 1919-1946

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About this Collection


Introduction: Volume I: League of Nations Documents and Publications, 1919-1946

This Guide is the first volume of a three volume set. Together these volumes serve as a Guide to all of the League of Nations Documents published by Research Publications (now Primary Source Microfilm, an imprint of the Gale Group) as part of its microfilm project League of Nations Documents, 1919-1946.


The collection consists of basically two classes of League of Nations materials:

A. Documents

B. Serial Publications


The documents portion of the microfilm collection is made up of four kinds of materials, and includes a total of over 25,000 documents.

1. Documents circulated to the Assembly and the Council of the League of Nations, and those sent out as Circular Letters to the Member States (A., C., and C.L. documents).
2. Documents and Minutes of the Permanent Mandates Commission (C.P.M. and related documents).
3. Minutes of the Directors Meetings, 1919-1933.
4. An early series of documents (1919-1921) made up of various sorts of communications to the League from Member States and other interested parties (19/F/-, 19/6/-, 29/6/-, and 21/6/-, documents).

Each of these classes of documents will now be examined individually and in more detail.

1. Assembly, Council, and Circular Letter Documents

The Assembly, Council, and Circular Letter documents are the most extensive and most important portion of the microfilm collection, comprising over 23,000 documents or document sets. "Document sets" is an appropriate phrase since many documents, comprehended by a single official number, consist of multiple parts. The Assembly and Council documents, in particular, are the papers that were laid before the two deliberative arms of the League. They are the working papers that the delegates used as their basis of information when they were debating questions concerning German minorities in Poland, the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, the suppression of the traffic in women and children, the ubiquitous problems of refugees, and most of the other concerns which guided the behavior of nations towards one another--and often towards their own populations--during the inter-war years.

Some of these documents eventually made their way--often in substantially revised form--into formal publication. A number were printed in the Official Journal or other relevant serial publications of the League. Various others were offered as separates and "placed on public sale." Many, however, never reached beyond the pale of their basic provenance of the Assembly, the Council, and the League Secretariat.

It is impossible to say exactly how many of these Assembly, Council, and Circular Letter documents were never published in any other form whatsoever, since this would require tracing the pedigree and successive metamorphoses of the thousands of documents that do exist in mimeographed form. Some rough comparisons are available however. One notes, for example, that Marie Carroll, in her Key to League of Nations Documents Placed on Public Sale, 1920-1929 and Supplements (Boston and New York, 1930-1936), lists 13 documents with official numbers as having been placed on public sale by the League for category IB between the years 1919-1934. (IB was the category designation assigned to documents treating Minorities questions.) For the entire period for which there are IB documents (i.e., 1919-1940), the microfilm collection contains over 1,400 such documents. Most of these are document sets with many parts. Similarly, for category VII, Political Questions, Carroll lists 94 documents with official numbers for the 1919-1934 period, while for the whole period of 1919-1946 the microfilm collection contains over 4,100 category VII documents. Even for a category such as Health (III), where one would assume there were few questions of confidentiality involved, Carroll lists 75 official number documents for the 1919-1934 period, while the microfilm collection contains over 400 documents in this category for the 1919-1946 period.

The categories of these documents have already been mentioned and it would be helpful to indicate here, in a systematic fashion, what these categories were. The Secretariat of the League had the responsibility of preparing the documentation for the deliberations of the Assembly and the Council. Over a period of time various sections of the Secretariat evolved or were established to specialize in the executing of particular League functions and, hence, in the preparation of documentation on particular questions. Sections eventually emerged which prepared documentation in the following subject areas:


IA. Administrative Commissions
IB. Minorities.
IIA. Financial Section and Economic Intelligence Service (Financial Questions)
IIB. Section of Economic Relations (Economic Questions)
III. Health
IV. Social Questions
V. Legal Questions
VIA. Mandates
VIB. Slavery

VII. Political Section (Political Questions)
VIII. Communications and Transit
IX. Disarmament
X. Financial Administration of the League of Nations
XI. Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs
XIIA. Intellectual Cooperation
XIIB. International Bureaus

XIII. Refugees

G. General Questions

The last of these categories, General Questions, includes documents prepared by the Secretariat on subjects other than those covered by the seventeen other categories.

This matrix of eighteen categories is the key to the organization of the microfilm collection of the Assembly, Council, and Circular Letter Documents. In planning the microfilm edition, access was obtained to several more or less complete, bound sets of the documents. Three of these sets were at the United Nations Library in New York and others at the United Nations Library in Geneva. Each of these sets was bound in simple chronological and serial order, which is the order most appropriate for an archival record. However, it was felt that the serial order would be a great disadvantage to the historical researcher who ordinarily wants to go after materials on a subject rather than a strictly chronological basis.

Accordingly, it was decided to take one of the U.N.s three bound sets apart and to rearrange it, first according to the subject categories just outlined, then chronologically within each of these categories, and finally by provenance, i.e., whether the item was an Assembly, Council, or Circular Letter document. The evident gaps in the disbound set were then filled in, wherever possible, by filming from the other U.N. sets. The net effect was to constitute a union set of documents on microfilm which is more complete than any of the discrete sets and undoubtedly the most complete set of these League documents now in existence. Perhaps even more important than its relative completeness, this union set of documents has now brought together, in chronological form, documents on Minorities (IB), Political Questions (VII), Refugees (XIII), and each of the other fifteen categories.

This catagoreal organization of the documents was, in itself, a large step forward in the direction of aiding the researcher. Something more was needed, however, and that is where the value of the present Guide can be found.

Marie Carrolls Key is a very useful guide to League of Nations documents. In fact, the experienced researcher, using it in conjunction with the League of Nations own Catalogue of Publications, Vol. I, 1920-1935 and Vol. II, 1935-1946 (Geneva, 1935-[1947?]), and Hans Aufrichts Guide to League of Nations Publications (New York, 1966) might find his way, albeit with difficulty, through the documents in the microfilm collection. (Carrolls Key and the Leagues two Catalogues are included on the first reel of the microfilm collection of the Documents.) Carrolls Key and the other bibliographic tools previously available have, however, necessarily restricted themselves in the main to documents placed on public sale by the League. Accordingly, they cannot be used to cover completely the scope of the documents in the microfilm collection. It was evident from the outset that the microfilm project would have to be accompanied by a new Guide, a Guide that would identify and describe the documents as they are organized on the film.

The present book is Volume I of a three volume Guide which attempts to do just that. This particular volume contains the description and reel number location of each of the over 6,000 Assembly, Council, and Circular Letter documents which occur in categories IA, IB, IIA, IIB, III, and IV. More time and toil has gone into the preparation of Volume I of this Guide than was ever imagined or anticipated at the outset of the microfilm project. It would be idle to dwell upon that fact. Whatever its inevitable shortcomings, it is hoped that the Guide will be a useful tool for the researcher.

Volume II will contain similar identifications and descriptions for the documents in categories V-VII, including descriptions of the documents of the Permanent Mandates Commission discussed briefly below. Volume II will also include descriptions of the brief document series mentioned earlier as the 19/6/-, 20/6/-, and 21/6/-, documents. Volume III will contain the descriptions for the remaining categories, VIII-XIII and General Questions, and will also contain the master list of document numbers included in the collection. There is a master list of microfilmed documents in categories IA-IV at the back of the present volume.

2. Documents and Minutes of the Permanent Mandates Commission

The Assembly, Council, and Circular Letter documents just discussed (the "official number" documents) constitute the core of League of Nations documents, much in the same way that the Serial Set forms the backbone of United States Government Documents. These documents, however, are by no means the only ones that were generated by the League. Ranged under the major sections of the Secretariat, and functioning as its day to day executive arms, were a large number of Commissions and Committees of the League. Broadly speaking, these Commissions and Committees carried on activities in the same subject areas as were outlined in the list of subject categories above. They were, in fact, the primary source of input into the Secretariat for the preparation of Assembly, Council, and Circular Letter documents. Most of these Commissions had their own documents, many of which found their way into the Assembly and the Council in revised and often summary forms. Some of these documents were also independently published, often as parts of the special subject serials that are listed below.

It was not thought possible to pick up all of these classes of documentation in the initial microfilm collection. Instead it was decided to select the documents of the one Commission of the League whose activities had perhaps the most historically interesting and continuing significance for the study of the sorts of international activities undertaken by the League. These documents of the Permanent Mandates Commission, in terms of subject category, are VIA documents.

The Permanent Mandates Commission supervised the division and administration of the various colonial spoils of the First World War. Both the disastrous and the "successful" results of this officially sanctioned neo-colonialism remain with us today. A study of these documents along with the Reports of the Mandatory Powers of the League (listed below among the serial publications) are indispensable sources for charting the history of this Great Power policy.

These C.P.M. and related documents are being described in Volume II of the Guide along with the Assembly, Council, and Circular Letter documents in category VIA.

3. Minutes of the Directors Meetings, 1919-1933

During the course of the preparation of the microfilm edition of the Assembly, Council, and Circular Letter Documents, a rare set of the Minutes of the Directors Meetings, for the period 1919-1933, was discovered. Attached to these Minutes were confidential circulars and papers. Further search failed to reveal any trace of minutes in this series later than 1933.

The importance of these Minutes is obvious. They permit the historian to glance inside one of the most sensitive policy making arenas of the League of Nations. They are a basic resource for writing the history of the League "from the top down," just as the documents in such categories as IIA, IIB, VIA, and IB provide the basic materials for writing this same history "from the bottom up."

Though they existed originally in mimeographed and typescript form, these Minutes are well indexed by themselves and therefore do not need to be described in detail in this Guide.

4. 19/F/-, 19/6/-, 20/6/-, and 21/6/- Documents

In addition to the classes of documents already mentioned, the Secretariat prepared various other smaller series of documents. These ranged from Office Circulars, which advised about such things as turning off the lights and petty thievery on the premises, to the present series of documents which is made up of communications received from the outside by the League. In general these latter communications concerned the attitudes of various Member and potential Member States towards the fledgling world organization. The attitudes reflected extend all the way from what governments were thinking to the opinion that the local newspaper and the man on the street held about the League of Nations.

The form of the various numbers of this series of Documents (19/F/-, 19/6/-, etc.) is explained below in the section on "Early Document Numbering Schemes." Since the subject matter of these documents is most frequently cognate with the admissions aspects of subject category V, these documents will be described in Volume II, which contains the descriptions for documents in category V.

There is a final note on the non- Assembly, Council, and Circular Letter documents. There is a short series of five documents 20/45/1-20/45/5, which were prepared by the Financial Section (IIA) of the Secretariat in connection with the International Financial Conference at Brussels in 1920. This Conference was not an official League conference though the League was obviously an interested onlooker. One of these documents, 29/45/2, has been included in the Council documents for 1920 despite the fact that it is not formally a Council document. It would not have been worthwhile to publish it in a separate series.

Before moving on to a detailed description of the technical aspects of the present Guide, brief mention should be made of the Serials portion of the microfilm collection.


The serial publications portion of the microfilm collection originally included the following titles:

1. Annual Epidemiological Reports, 1922-1938 (includes varying titles).
2. Armaments Year Book, 1924-1939/49.
3. International Health Year Book, 1924-1932.
4. Memoranda on Production and Trade, 1926-1945.
5. Money and Banking, 1913-1944 (includes varying titles).
6. Official Journal of the League of Nations (including the Records of the Assembly and the Minutes of the Council, 1920-1946).
7. Reports of the Mandatory Powers to the League (included for its relevance to category VIA of the Documents, though published by the Powers themselves and not the League).
8. Review of World Trade, Balance of Payments and International Trade Statistics, 1910-1945 (includes varying titles).
9. Statistical Year Book of the League of Nations, 1926-42/44.
10. Statistical Year Book of the Trade in Arms, Ammunition, and Implements of War, 1924-1938.
11. Treaty Series, 1919-1947.
12. World Economic Survey, 1931/32-1942/44.

The above list of titles does not include every serial publication put out by the League; it includes only those which were thought to be most important for the initial microfilm publication. Other League serial titles may eventually be included in the microfilm collection.

There are two important reasons for offering these serial titles on microfilm. First, the intrinsic worth of the materials themselves, both from the standpoint of the history of the League as well as twentieth century history in general, merits that the material should be in all research libraries. The microfilm edition makes this acquisition possible for libraries which were not in existence or which were not otherwise acquiring such material at the time of its first appearance.

In the second place, since most of it was printed on poor paper which has already begun to deteriorate, the microfilm edition makes an archival copy of these serials generally available.

Being regular serial publications and serial collections of monographs, these items are for the most part individually indexed on at least an annual basis. The printed Guide, therefore, does not further index these publications.


Volume I of this Guide is comprised of two parts: (A.) Descriptions of the documents, on a category-by-category basis for subject categories IA-IV, and (B.) a consolidated "Number Index" of all of the official document numbers contained in the microfilm collection of the IA-IV documents. In addition, the descriptions portion of the Guide functions simultaneously as (C.) a "Reel Index" to the microfilm collection. Volume II and Volume III will follow this same basic pattern of organization for the category series each of them describes.

A. Descriptions of the Documents

Each document in the collection has been (1.) individually listed by the official number assigned to it by the League, and (2.) described in detail in the manner outlined below. Each aspect of the documents descriptions will now be discussed in detail.

1. Document Numbers

The official number, which was assigned by League of Nations to each document, contains a great deal of information. With the exception of the document numbers which were employed for documents issued between 1919 and April 1921 (which are discussed below under "Early Document Numbering Schemes"), the official numbers of documents described in the present Guide take one of the following forms:

(i) A.13.1933.III
(ii) C.801.1932.IIA
(iii) C.516.M.255.1932.IIB
(iv) C.L.174.1932.IV

The first part of this identifying number consists of a letter prefix which indicates, in the broad sense of the term, the provenance of the document. Thus, "A" indicates that the document was distributed to--and hence has come down to us as one of the documents from--the Assembly of the League; "C" means the document was distributed to members of the Council of the League; "C.L." means the document was a Circular Letter sent out from the Secretariat to one or more of the Member States of the League; similarly, the "M" in (iii) means that this document was distributed to the Member States as well as to the members of the Council.

The second part of the document number--in the above examples the numbers 13, 801, 516, 255, and 174--is a simple sequence or serial number. It indicates that the documents in question were, respectively, (I) the 13th document distributed to the Assembly in 1933, (ii) the 801st document distributed to the Council in 1932, (iii) the 516th document distributed to the Council in 1932, and also the 255th document distributed to the Member States in that same year, and (iv) the 174th Circular Letter sent out to the Member States in 1932.

As is clear from the above explanation of the sequence number, the third part of the document number is simply the year of distribution of the document in question.

The fourth part of the document number indicates the subject with which the document is concerned and, in terms of the documents preparation, the section of the Secretariat which prepared it for distribution. The eighteen subject categories of the League have already been listed above.

There are some variations on the basic forms set out in (i-iv) which will be reviewed here to prepare the user of the Guide for the metamorphosed forms he can expect to encounter in the actual list.

In the first place, the League would sometimes issue a document bearing a subscripted sequence number of the form:


These subscripts generally indicate that the document with subscripted numbers is superseding or otherwise complementing the document which bears the same number in an unsubscripted form. In some cases, no document with an unsubscripted number has been located. Undoubtedly, some of these were issued. Others actually seem to have been recalled before they ever left the Secretariat.

Other forms to be met with are:

C.51.M.18.1922.II[B].[Volume 1]

In any one of these cases in particular it might be argued that the document number could actually be listed without the final qualifier; however, most of these documents maintain their own identity by virtue of their individual dates of issuance, subject matter, or depth of coverage. It seemed more proper, therefore, to complete their numbers with the additional terms of "Annex," "Erratum," etc. In most cases the strongest authority for including the final term as part of the document number is the printed occurrence of the term along with the rest of the document number. The location point for the document number is generally the upper right hand corner of the first page of the document. In cases where the qualifier has been editorially supplied, this has been indicated by putting it in square brackets.

Mention of square brackets brings us to the next set of variant forms of official numbers. Square brackets are used to indicate either a change in a document number from the way it appears on the document or an editorially supplied addition of or to a document number.

There are various types of changes and additions which are indicated by square brackets, but most of them reduce to one of the following basic forms:

(i) C.141.M.78.1921.III.[i.e.,IIB]
(ii) A.183.[i.e.,163].1921.[IB]
(iii) C.260.M.155.1938.IV.[bis]
(iv) [C.217.M.156.1921.IA]
(v) C.162.M.89.1921.II[A]
(vi) C.265.M.196.1921.[IIA]

The first two forms, (i) and (ii), involve cases where, in the judgment of the editor, the printed category or document number is in error. The errors in documents numbers (ii) are infrequent and should create no problems, especially since the document is double listed in both its erroneous and its correct number order in the "Number Index" that follows the descriptions. The errors in categories (i) are a different matter, and they sometimes involve highly complex judgments. In other cases, however, it is fairly obvious that the printer has simply nodded and can be corrected without fear of falsifying the historical record. This is true in most cases where the IB has been printed as a IA, and vice versa. In other cases it has been a question of deciding that a document, because of its evident subject matter, simply does not belong in the category to which it would have been assigned if its printed category were followed. The conservative rule of thumb that has been followed here is that if there is any reason to think that a particular document might have been prepared by the particular section of the Secretariat whose printed category mark it bears (rather than by a section into which the document would fall more naturally, given its actual subject matter), the document has been left in the former category. In any case the "II.[i.e.,IIB]" form preserves both the original form of the category number, "III," as well as the judgment of the editor that the document really belongs, because of its subject matter, in a different category, "[i.e.,IIB]." In the microfilm sequence such documents occur in the category indicated in square brackets and have accordingly been described in the part of the Guide covering that category.

Any inconvenience this might have caused to a researcher who is approaching the document from an external reference (which cites the original category) has been eliminated, since the master "Number Index" lists the document in serial order with both its old and its new category indicated.

The third form of addition, (iii), is rare, but it does occur. It indicates that two different though (sometimes) related documents have been found to have exactly the same document number.

The fourth (iv) form of addition involves cases where the official number was omitted altogether from the document but has been hand-written in. Often this number has been supplied from the French version of the document, which does not actually appear in the microfilm collection. French versions of documents are generally supplied only when an English version is incomplete or lacking altogether.

The last two forms of addition, (v) and (vi), are potentially the most controversial. In the case of (v) what is at stake is that the printed number did not contain either the A or B designation. This sort of addition is germane, of course, only for four category pairs: IA and IB, IIA and IIB, VIA and VIB, and XIIA and XIIB. On the first and third of these pairs there is little ambiguity at all. There is little doubt, for example, when a document concerns the Saar Basin Governing Commission (IA), or Minorities (IB) on the one hand, or Mandates (VIA) or Slavery (VIB) on the other. There is sometimes a little fuzziness as to whether a document is concerned with Intellectual Cooperation (XIIA) or International Bureaus (XIIB), but these questions can usually be resolved fairly definitively. II[A] and II[B], however, present more difficult problems.

Part of the problem is inherent in the obvious relatedness of the subject matters of these two categories. Financial (IIA) and Economic (IIB) questions, however distinct they may be at their respective ends of the spectrum, tend to get inextricably intertangled with one another as they move towards the center. In general, though, the editorial work has been arguably successful and consistent in assigning documents to one or the other of these categories, at least so far as their subject matter is concerned.

The other half of the problem with II[A] and II[B] documents arise from the fact that the Financial Section and Economic Intelligence Service (IIA) and the Section of Economic Relations (IIB) were not always formally distinct sections of the League. So, technically speaking, there were, until their formal separation, no IIA and IIB documents at all; there were only II documents. The problem is compounded by the fact that even though a functional separation had taken place by 1923, the League itself did not begin to assign A and B designations with any frequency until 1931. Accordingly, some of the present Guides assignments of As and Bs to category II documents are retrospective, and have as their primary justification a desire to maintain the subject classification of the documents as much as possible. The editors thought that this justification was more than sufficient, however, since the microfilm project is tailored primarily to the needs of the researcher, rather than the archivist. Nonetheless, the square brackets insure that the information about the "pure" form of the document has not been lost.

The last form of square bracket additions (vi) is used for documents on which a category designation is lacking altogether. This form is also exhibited in (ii). The assignment of categories in such cases presents some obvious hazards, but a reasonable defense of the choices of categories for each of these documents can be offered. It might be noted that the League did not assign category markers to any of its documents before 1921.

Before turning to a consideration of the "Early Document Numbering Schemes," a general caution is in order to users of the film. The various editorial decisions about additions, category transfers, etc., took place over the period of time involved in compiling the Guide. Often a document number would be changed or regularized at a time when the document was no longer physically available for refilming. What was available was a perfectly good film copy of the document, a copy, however, on which the official number could not be modified. Accordingly, official numbers on some documents may not always coincide exactly with the number that shows up in the Guide. These discrepancies may initially confuse a user of the film who, on the basis of what he has seen in the Guide, is looking for, say, C.168(a).1922[IIB], and finds instead C.168(a).1922. Such discrepancies, however, should in most cases disappear when one pays attention to the use of the square brackets. Their occurrence provides the key to what the reader can expect not to encounter in an unedited official number.

Early Documents Numbering Schemes

From its beginnings in 1919 up to April 1921 the official number schemes for League of Nations documents were complex, sometimes redundant, and given to sudden and seemingly arbitrary changes. Without attempting to unravel all the secrets of the Leagues early numbering systems, a few comments are in order on the types of early official numbers which will be encountered in the present Guide. There are three basic sorts of these numbers.

The first type involves:

1. Documents beginning with:
(a) The provenance marker "Council Doc." (short for Council Document, or the French, Document du Conseil), followed by,
(b) a serial number (1, 2, 3, etc.) followed by,
(c) a year of issue indicator ([1919], [1920], or [1921]), followed by,
(d) a category marker ([IA], [IB], etc.), followed in some cases by,
(e) a further qualifier (e.g., Annex, Addendum, etc.).

Examples of documents exhibiting the above format:

Council Doc.1.[1919.IA]
Council Doc.23.[1920.IV]
Council Doc.155.[1921.IA]

The second type includes:

2. Documents beginning with:
(a) Same as (a) above, followed by,
(b) a serial letter (A, B, C,...Z), followed in some cases by,
(c) a serial number (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7), followed by,
(d) same as (c), (d), and (e) above.

Examples are:

Council Doc.A.[1919.IB]
Council Doc.J.4.[1920.IA]
Council Doc.Z.6.[1921.IV]

The third type includes:

3. Documents beginning with:
(a) A provenance marker ([A], [C], or [C.L.]), followed in some cases by,
(b) a further provenance marker (M), followed by,
(c) a year of issue indicator (19/ , 20/ , or 21/ ), followed by,
(d) a type of document marker (e.g., 4, 31, 41, 48, and, occasionally, letters, e.g., F), followed by,
(e) a serial number (1, 2, 3, etc.), followed by,
(f) same as (d) and (e) in (1).

Examples are:


A number of remarks are in order on these three basic types of early documents. First, the provenance marker in type (3) documents is actually redundant and has been editorially supplied. Therefore, it always occurs in square brackets. For someone who knew how to interpret the type of document markers such as those mentioned in (c), the [A]ssembly, [C]ouncil, and [C]ircular [L]etter provenance markers would be unnecessary. For example, "4" as a marker identifies the most frequent class of Council Documents, "3" identifies documents distributed to Member States over the cover of Circular Letters, while "48" apparently identifies the main series of Assembly documents.

The problem with relying on these types of document markers to determine provenance is that no one has as yet published a decoding of the entire range of these markers. Accordingly, it seemed pragmatically appropriate to externally identify these documents outright as having been either [A] Assembly, [C] Council, or [C.L.] Circular Letter documents.

Second, the Council documents in (3) were documents distributed to the Council while the documents in (1) were issued by the Council. The documents in (2) on the other hand, are largely identical with documents which were reissued with document numbers like those in (3). In general, they are the documents which were later identified by a C.-M.-. number, such as C.162.M.89.1921.[IIA]. Wherever the identification of a (2) document with a (3) document has been definitively made (it is usually, though not always, apparent from the occurrence of both numbers on the document itself) these documents have been filmed and described only once, viz., under their later, reissued (3) number. In the place of the description for the original number, the Guide gives a cross reference to the following form: "Council Doc.Z.[1920.V]: Identical with [C].20/4/63.[V]." The user may then find the description under the document with which the original is said to be identical.

A final observation can be made on the serial number in each of these three types of early documents. The serial numbers and letters/(numbers) types (1) and (2) were continuous from 1919 to April 1921. In type (3), however, the serial sequence was begun anew for each year, and for each type of document within that year.

2. Description Portion of the Entry

The description portion of each entry consists of everything after the document number. The descriptions vary in size, but all of them, with the exception of the cross reference descriptions, have the same basic form. Each consists, actually or implicitly, of the following three parts:

a. Place and date of the controlling document, followed by,
b. a subject title of the document, or document set, followed by,
c. a descriptive abstract and/or listing of the document(s) in the entry.

a. Place and date of the controlling document

The controlling document generally means the transmitting document. This is most often a "Note by the Secretary General (SG)," though it may sometimes be a "Note" by some other official. In the limiting case where there is only one document, transmitting itself as it were, the single document is simultaneously the controlling and the controlled document.

The place of the controlling document appears in the entry immediately after the document number. As a matter of practice the place of issuance of the controlling document has not been included if the place is Geneva. The vast majority of entries, therefore, show no explicit place of issuance for the controlling document. It can ordinarily be assumed that Geneva is the place of issuance for such documents. This assumption must, however, be qualified in one respect. In the formative period of the League, Paris, Brussels, San Sebastian and London were centers for official League activities, and many documents were issued from these places. These places are noted when they formally occur on the document. But the League was not entirely scrupulous about its document form, especially in the early years. And there may, accordingly, be some documents which were issued out of some place other than Geneva, even though this place does not appear in the description. The same remark holds true for documents issued after 1921, though to a considerably lesser extent.

The date of the controlling document immediately follows the actual or implied place of issuance. As with the place information the controlling documents do not always bear their dates of issuance and this information, accordingly, does not always appear in the description. Since, however, the serial order of the documents for any given year reflects, more or less, the chronological order of issuance, the approximate date of issuance of such undated documents can usually be interpolated by looking to the first preceding and succeeding entries which do have dates for their controlling documents.

Places and dates of the controlled or transmitted documents are indicated, when available, in the descriptive abstract (c.).

b. Subject title of document, or document set.

It was originally thought that the descriptive portion of any entry would include simply the place and date, and the formal title for the document(s) in that entry. The assumption was that, in most cases, the formal title would sufficiently indicate the subject matter of the document(s) in the entry. This bark of wishful thinking completely foundered on the shoals of the Leagues own vagaries and inconsistencies in titling, as well as on the rocks of lack-of-titles-altogether--a frequent problem with archival materials. It was therefore necessary to actually search and, in many cases, read fully through the documents in order to determine what might function as a title. The result of this process was what is being referred to in (b) as a subject title. This subject title is meant to cover not only the controlling document but all of the other documents comprehended by a given entry. The subject title immediately follows the place and/or date of the controlling document. Where neither of these occurs, it is the first item in the description.

The subject title is much more indicative of the true contents of many documents than the formal title--when it exists--would be. A great deal of care went into the devising and the maintaining of consistency in these subject titles, and they should provide an effective basis for the user to conveniently group sub-classes of documents within a given category.

Some examples of subject titles, with the categories indicated, are the following: Free City of Danzig (IA), Saar Basin Governing Commission (IA), Protection of Minorities in Poland, Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, etc. (IB), Traffic in Women and Children (IV), and Famine in Russia (IIA).

c. Descriptive abstract and/or listing of document(s) in the entry

Along with the subject title, the descriptive abstract constitutes the heart of the descriptive portion of the entry. These abstracts try to indicate, in as concise a fashion as possible, the substantive contents of each document or each document set. They will hopefully prove to be of great value to the researcher. Each was composed with the researchers needs in mind.

Naturally there were some limitations which had to be observed in compiling the abstracts. There were basically two such limitations. First, if the number of transmitted or forwarded documents exceeded two, three, or more, these documents were grouped together under a common description with beginning and ending dates, where available, for the time span covered by the documents in question. It simply would have been too time and space consuming (and unrewarding in terms of diminishing returns to the researcher) to list, for example, the dates, places, and individual descriptions of twenty-five or so documents attached to a report by the Secretary General or one of the League committees.

The other limitation that was observed was in the case of general reports (that may or may not have been transmitting attached documents), which were the annual, semi-annual, monthly, or other such regular reports of the activities of the various committees, commissions, etc. These reports characteristically covered the whole range of activities in which each committee, commission, etc., was engaged, and it is usually enough to indicate the reports basic subject matter to the interested researcher.

A brief word is in order about some of the visual and verbal conventions that have been incorporated into the descriptions to indicate the structure and/or character of certain documents. In terms of visual markers, (a), (b), (c), etc., indicate transmitted documents, while (1), (2), (3), etc., generally indicate separate points covered in a given document, rather than separate documents.

Verbal indications are of various sorts. There is, first of all, the employment, in the descriptions of some documents, of such adjectives and phrases as "lengthy," "extensive," "very extensive," "with statistical data," etc. The use of these indicators is obvious. In addition, if the document is in French, this is indicated in the description by "in French" or "(French)."

A small number of abbreviations were employed. Most of these are obvious. Some of the more common ones are: LN (League of Nations), Memo (Memorandum), Pres. (President), Rep. (Representative), trans. (transmitting), and ltr. (letter).

Most other verbal indications are self-explanatory though a word should be said about the use of the phrase "(Document(s) not attached)." This phrase explains itself when it is used in the case of Assembly and Council document entries, but in the case of the Circular Letters, the situation of non-attached documents is so much an institutionalized feature of that class of documents that the phrase is generally used there only to indicate documents which could be expected to be attached to the record copy of the Circular Letter retained by the Secretariat, but which are not attached. The point is that many of the Circular Letters were simply notes of transmittal, to any or all of the Member States, for Assembly and Council Documents. There was no need for the Secretariat to retain such documents in their Circular Letter form since they were already present in their Council or Assembly form. Hence these transmitted documents frequently did not get into the archival set. Even if these documents had been retained in their Circular Letter form, there would have been no point in generally including them in the microfilm collection. Such inclusion would have raised the cost of the collection unnecessarily. Where attached documents do accompany a Circular Letter, they are frequently not Council or Assembly documents at all, or are atypically occurring Council and Assembly documents. It is generally only where attached documents such as these are missing that "(Document(s) not attached)" is used for the Circular Letters.

B. Number Index

At the end of the descriptive section of this Guide, there is a master list of documents included in the microfilm collection (and hence described in the Guide) for categories IA-IV. These document numbers are arranged first by year of issuance and then by provenance, i.e., Assembly, Council, and Circular Letter document numbers. Where no documents for a particular provenance exist for a given year, this is negatively indicated in the "Number Index" by the absence of an entry for that particular year. The same information is captured in the form of a positive statement in the descriptions portion of the Guide, e.g., "No Circular Letters were issued for 1943."

The "Number Index" is primarily for those who are approaching the microfilm collection and the Guide from the outside, via a document number reference derived from elsewhere. A glance at the "Number Index" will tell the user right away whether a document is included in the collection and has been described. The description of the document can then be located by noting the category, year, provenance, and serial number indication in the document number and then turning to the part of the Guide which corresponds with this information.

This "Number Index" has gaps, of course, insofar as categories IA-IV represent, roughly, only one sixth of the serial output of the League documents for the whole of the eighteen categories.

In addition to providing a starting reference point for users approaching the Guide and the film from the outside, the "Number Index" provides an anchor point for documents for which the category has been supplied, augmented, or corrected. Thus, it makes no difference in the "Number Index" if a document is "VII.[i.e.,IB]" Its serial number has stayed the same despite the fact that it has been editorially shifted from category VII to category IB. With this unique series number it can be determinately located whether the reference is internal or external.

C. The Guide as a Reel Index

At the same time that the Guide provides descriptions of the documents, it is also serving as a detailed item-by-item "Reel Index" to the film collection. Thus, a reader who has located a particular description can locate the reel of the microfilm collection on which that document physically exists by visually backtracking to the first reel indicator which is met, e.g., "Reel IIA-5." This particular indicator refers to the fifth reel of film for category IIA documents. Within the reels of a given series there is the further pattern of organization which includes (i) year of issuance and (ii) provenance. Thus category IB has twenty-five total reels, "Reel IB-11" of which contains all the 1929 Assembly documents and part of the 1929 Council documents for this category, while "Reel IB-12" of the same category has the remaining 1929 Council and all of the 1929 Circular Letter documents for that category.

It might be noted here for convenient reference that there are fourteen total reels for category IA, twenty-five for IB, twenty-five for IIA, sixteen for IIB, ten for III, and thirteen for IV.

Introduction: Volume II: League of Nations Documents 1919-1946

This is the second volume of three volume Guide to the microfilm collection League of Nations Documents 1919-1946. The general structure of the microfilm collection and the Guide (which mirror one another in that they both reflect the administrative and legislative structure of the League) is described in detail in the "Introduction" to Volume I. The user of the microfilm collection, as well as this volume, is referred to this description for instruction in the collections use.

I. Contents and Organization of Volume II

Volume II includes the document descriptions and numerical index listings for the following four categories of League of Nations Assembly, Council, and Circular Letter Documents (ACCL Documents):

Category: V--Subject Matter: Legal Questions
Category: VIA--Subject Matter: Mandates
Category: VIB--Subject Matter: Slavery
Category: VII--Subject Matter: Political Questions

In addition to these major parts of the ACCL Documents, Volume II includes descriptions for the following classes of League of Nations documents:

1. Documents of the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations (called C.P.M. Documents).
2. Minutes and Reports for the regular and extraordinary sessions of the Permanent Mandates Commission.
3. An early series of Secretariat Documents which have the identifying number 19/F/-, 19/6/-, 20/6/-, and 21/6/-.

In terms of the physical organization of Volume II the documents in Category V: Legal Questions are described first, followed by those in Category VIA: Mandates. At this point, instead of going on to Category VIB: Slavery, the descriptions for the (1) C.P.M. Documents and (2) Minutes and Reports for the sessions of the Permanent Mandates Commission are inserted. The reason for this is the substantial identity in subject matter between these latter and Category VIA documents. This identity is a function of the structure of the League in that the Permanent Mandates Commission was the organ that oversaw and implemented the Leagues policy on Mandates. This Commission reported up to the ACCL level of the League, and its discussions were the basis for much of the documentation that was filtered through the Assembly, Council, and Secretariat as Category VIA documents. In fact, some of the ACCL series VIA documents were given both an ACCL type number and a C.P.M. number, indicating that they were unchanged in their movement from the Permanent Mandates Commission to the ACCL level.

Following the C.P.M. Documents and the Minutes and Reports of the Permanent Mandates Commission come the descriptions for the documents in Category VIB: Slavery and Category VII: Political Questions. These are followed by the descriptions for the small class of early Secretariat documents identified as 19/F/-, 19/6/-, etc.

II. Subject Matter of the Documents in Volume II

The general subject matter of most of these document series and/or subject classes is evident from their titles, so what is provided here is mainly a brief review of some of their special characteristics as far as the microfilm collection is concerned.

A. Category V: Legal Questions

Category V: Legal Questions documents are those which emanated from the Legal Section of the Secretariat and related to such questions as the organization and admissions structure of the League itself, the Permanent Court of International Justice,1 the coordination of international law, the legal and ratificatory aspects of the various agreements and conventions concluded under the auspices of the League, and similar questions.

It should be noted that, in the microfilm collection, Category V contains many documents which have been editorially shifted from other categories into Category V. The "Introduction" in Volume I (p. xiv-xvi) explains the usual editorial policy followed in shifting documents from one category to another. Generally this is done only where there is a fairly obvious error of a printing or similar nature in the category marker in the document number. Instruments of acceptance or ratification, and similar documents relating to international conventions, treaties, etc., or the giving of opinions by the Legal Section have, however, been treated somewhat differently. The League itself was inconsistent in assigning these to either Category V or the category in which the document belonged by virtue of its subject matter. An editorial attempt was accordingly made to introduce consistency by shifting most such documents over to Category V. Nothing has been lost in terms of any documents original category marker, however, since this shift into Category V follows the general rules established for shifting a document, i.e., the new category is always listed in square brackets after the original category, as for example, in the case of C.L. 144.1935.VII[i.e., V]. This is a document which does have Category VII: Political Questions subject matter, but has been shifted into Category V because it involves Latvias accession to the General Act for the Pacific Settlement of International Dispute, i.e., it is formally a legal instrument.2

B. Category VIA: Mandates, C.P.M. Documents, and Minutes and Reports of the Permanent Mandates Commission

Category VIA: Mandates documents are those which deal with the mandates system of the League of Nations. According to that system, the League ratified and administered the carving up, by the victorious Allies of World War I, of former Ottoman and German territories and colonies. These documents, along with the related C.P.M. Documents and Minutes and Reports of the Permanent Mandates Commission are an indispensible source for anyone seeking the origins of such modern day problems and political realities as the Arab-Israeli conflict and emergent African nationalism. Both of these phenomena were decisively shaped by the policies of the League and its members during the inter-war years. This is obvious by simply taking a glance at some of the documents described in these sections.

A number of technical bibliographical remarks on the C.P.M. Documents and the Minutes and Reports of the Permanent Mandates Commission should be noted. First, the C.P.M. Documents should not be confused with a class of documents included elsewhere in the microfilm collection and grouped under the general title "Reports of the Mandatory Powers."3 Unlike the C.P.M. Documents, which were official League publications, these "Reports" were issued by the governments that were the Mandatory Powers: Japan, England, France, Belgium, etc. They were reports to (not by) the League which were made by these Mandatory Powers and have been included in the microfilm collection on their own reels along with some related documents. These "Reports" are not described in Volume II but will be calendared in Volume III along with those of the serial publications of the League that also require this sort of individual listing.

Second, the C.P.M. Documents are preceded in the microfilm collection, and hence, in both the descriptive and number index portions of Volume II, by a small group of pre-C.P.M. documents which have to do with the initial formulation of the Mandates in 1920. Nine of these documents are numbered "Mandates I," "Mandates IV," etc., through "Mandates XIV" and are basically the texts of the Mandates proposed by the various countries in 1920. Two additional documents, which are simply different versions of two of the "Mandates" documents, are marked "Miscellaneous No. 14" and "Miscellaneous No. 124." The designators "Mandates" and "Miscellaneous" appears (except in the case of "Mandates XIV") right on the documents. Though not technically C.P.M. Documents these "Mandates" and "Miscellaneous" documents have been grouped with the C.P.M. documents because of their obvious affinity with them.

Next, it will be noted that the C.P.M. Documents, like current United Nations documents, but unlike the ACCL series of League documents, form one continuous number series for the whole 1921-1945 period, running from C.P.M.1 through C.P.M.2180. The number series, in other words, was not begun over again each year. Accordingly the number index for these documents in the back of Volume II lists inclusive groups rather than listing each document separately. Most of the breaks in the listing indicate points at which documents are apparently or possibly missing in the microfilm collection, though breaks have also been made to mark the years of issuance. Generally these gaps concern subscripted documents which were possibly issued in earlier versions, though often the only real difference between a subscripted and non-subscripted text is that one is in English and the other in French. Thus C.P.M.22(1) is presumably a later form of a presumptive C.P.M.22. "Presumptive" is used weakly here, because there were apparently cases where an unsubscripted version of a document was never actually issued. It is, of course, impossible to tell whether any given subscripted document for which there is no "natural" gap in the series ever existed. Thus, in the microfilm collection, C.P.M.99 follows C.P.M.98. C.P.M.98(1), indeed C.P.M.98(1)-C.P.M.98(20), may have existed, but there is no way of telling this short of the documents actually making an appearance either "in the pulp" or through a citation. In any event, of the 136 documents possibly missing from the C.P.M. series, 121 involve unsubscripted or prior subscripted documents for which at least one subscripted version exists. In other words, only 15 out of 2180 document numbers appear not to be present in any version.

Finally, among the Minutes and Reports4 of the Permanent Mandates Commission which are described following the C.P.M. documents, it will be noted that there are additional accompanying documents to the Minutes and Reports of the first thirteen sessions, which documents have also been described. These documents fall into either the ACL or C.P.M. series and have been independently described in those sequences. But they have been included along with the Minutes and Reports of the first thirteen sessions and described at that point because they are the same material which, beginning with the fourteenth session, was formally appended to the Minutes and Reports. This material was made up of questionnaires and the Commissions observations which relate to the administration of mandated territories, rebuttals to those observations by the Mandatory Powers, as well as the Commissions Reports themselves to the Council on the work of its various sessions.

The Minutes and Reports are first noted by Assembly or Council number and then described by session number, date, and a few other particulars. Each has a detailed table of contents which lists the issues each session considered, and most have a list of annexes. The Minutes and Reports of the extraordinary or special sessions are further described by giving the name of the subject they were called to consider: e.g., the Seventeenth Session (Extraordinary), which was held for the purpose of studying the situation in Palestine following the disturbances in August of 1929.

The Minutes and Reports collection concludes with four indexes to the records of the Permanent Mandates Commission, covering the first through the thirtieth session. No index was compiled for the thirty-first through the thirty-seventh sessions.

C. Category VIB: Slavery

The subject matter of this class of documents is obvious from the title and there are no special bibliographic complexities to be noted in connection with them.

D. Category VII: Political Questions

There is no question that Category VII documents are among the most interesting in the collection. Anyone wanting to follow the course of the various "brushfire" and not so limited wars that spotted the worlds terrain between the War-to-end-all-Wars and World War II will find much material in this section. Some of the "highlights" include the documentation on the dispute between Poland and Lithuania, the battle in South America between Bolivia and Paraguay over the Gran Chaco, the Sino-Japanese hostilities in Manchuria, and the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. A myriad of other less dramatic but nonetheless important political questions are documented in Category VII. These documents also have no special bibliographical problems.

E. 19/F/-, 19/6/-, 20/6/-, 21/6/-, Documents5

Rounding out the document descriptions in Volume II are descriptions for a small class of early Secretariat documents. These documents were originally filmed with the ACCL documents, but, as Mr. Victor-Yves Ghébali of the Dotation Carnégie pour la Paix Internationale in Geneva kindly pointed out, they are actually in a class by themselves, and have accordingly been segregated in the Guide as well as on their own reels in the microfilm collection. These documents vary greatly in their subject matter and have been included in Volume II of the Guide chiefly because a number of more important documents among them deal with aspects of the admissions and ratification questions which occupied the League in its formative years. Thus, for example, 19/F/7 is a report on Swiss and Swedish concern over what sorts of military commitments membership in the League of Nations might entail, and 21/6/10 is an extract from a letter by Donald Hunter Miller expressing discouragement about the prospects of the incoming Harding Administrations actively sponsoring United States membership in the League.

Some of these documents have the form of communications from the outside which the Secretariat picked up and circulated within the Secretariat itself for its information. Others originated within the Secretariat itself and concern such minor administrative matters as how copies of League publications were to be distributed. The series as a whole will not overwhelm the historian with hitherto unknown and crucial information about the League, but there are some grains of political and historical wheat buried amidst this administrative chaff.



1 Documents which originated in the League about the Permanent Court are not to be confused with the various document series issued by the Court itself. The major series issued by the Court were the following: (1) Series A: Judgments, no. 1-24, 1922-1930; (2) Series B: Advisory opinions, no. 1-18, 1922-1930; (3) Series A/B: Judgments, orders, and advisory opinions, no. 40-80, 1931-1940 (numbered in continuation of Series A and Series B); (4) Series C: Pleadings, oral statements and documents, vol. 1-88, 1922-1940; (5) Series D: Acts and documents relative to the organization of the Court, vol. 1-6, 1922-1936; (6) Series E: Annual Reports, no. 1-16, 1922-1945; (7) Series F; General Indexes, vol. 1: 1922-1926, vol. 2: 1927-1930, vol. 3: 1931-1935, vol. 54: General index to statutes and rules of the Court, 1920-1936. These documents have been separately microfilmed as the latest addition to the League and League-related serial publications issued by Research Publications (now Primary Source Microfilm, an imprint of the Gale Group). For a list of the other serial publications that have been microfilmed, see p. xii of Volume I of this Guide.

2 At the beginning of the Category V documents for 1921 there is one maverick document that has crept into the microfilm collection: A.I. 25(1).1921.V. This is a document of the First Committee of the Assembly, documents of which were not formally included in the microfilm project. Rather than delete it because it did not belong bibliographically, it was retained and described at the beginning of the sequence.

3 This confusion is made by Catharine J. Reynolds in her otherwise fine review of the League of Nations microfilm project and Volume I of the Guide. See p. 273 of her review, "League of Nations Documents and Serial Publications, 1919-1946/Review Article," Microfilm Review, Vol. II, No. 4 (October , 1973), 272-277. We are indebted to Ms. Reynolds for a number of suggestions she made for improving headings to show the subject category on the outer margin and then the year. This suggestion has been implemented in the present volume. She also noted (p. 273) that it is sometimes difficult to determine what exactly is contained in some of the serial publications included in the microfilm collection. We became aware of this difficulty ourselves after the issuance of that part of the collection, and we were already considering separately calendaring these serial publications where necessary. Her prompting was enough for us to commit to doing just that, and this listing will appear in Volume III of the Guide. Ms. Reynolds also suggested that we consider filming other League serial publications and we have begun doing this by adding the various publications of the Permanent Court of International Justice. See supra footnote l.

4 The Reports by the Permanent Mandates Commission on its own work also should not be confused with the collection of "Reports of the Mandatory Powers" which consist of annual reports on the administration of mandated territories. See supra footnote 3.

5 These documents constitute a single series and are numbered according to the Leagues early (1919-1921) document numbering scheme. The method behind this system for numbering is described on p. xvi-xvii of Volume I of the Guide.

Introduction: Volume III: League of Nations Documents 1919-1946

This is the third volume of the three volume Guide to the microfilm collection League of Nations Documents 1919-1946. A full discussion of the uses of the Guide and its application to the microfilm collection can be found in the "Introduction" to Volume I.

I. Contents and Organization of Volume III.

Volume III includes the document descriptions for the following eight subject categories of League of Nations Assembly, Council, and Circular Letter (ACCL) Documents:

Category: VIII--Subject Matter: Communications and Transit
Category: IXSubject Matter: Disarmament
Category: XSubject Matter: Financial Administration of the League of Nations
Category: XISubject Matter: Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs
Category: XIIASubject Matter: Intellectual Cooperation
Category: XIIBSubject Matter: International Bureaux
Category: XIIISubject Matter: Refugees
Category: GSubject Matter: General Questions

In addition to the document descriptions for these eight categories, Volume III includes a complete index for the entire collection of ACCL DocumentsCategories IA through G, followed by separate listings for the Permanent Mandates Commission (C.P.M.) Documents, Minutes and Reports of the Permanent Mandates Commission, and the collection of Secretariat communications known as the 19/F/-, 19/6/-, 20/6/-, and 21/6/- Series. The "Consolidated Chronological and Sequential Index of Official Distribution Numbers for Documents Contained in Categories IA-G" combines the indexes in Volumes I and II, and meshes them with the document numbers appearing in Volume III. The document numbers are grouped for each year by Assembly, Council, and Circular Letters headings, and the documents are listed in numerical order within the yearly /ACCL divisions. A researcher can thus locate a specific document by looking in the Consolidated Index. For example, if C.426(1).1924 is the only portion of the document number known, one has only to look in the Consolidated Index in the Council 1924 section to discover that C.42691).1924 is described in Category VIA: Mandates under its full number, C.426(1).1924.VI[A].

Volume III is organized in the pattern established in Volumes I and II. The documents in Category VIII: Communications and Transit are described first, with the description for the remaining seven subject categories presented in numerical order; Category IX: Disarmament; Category X: Financial Administration of the League of Nations; Category XI: Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs; Category XIIA; Intellectual Cooperation; Category XIIB; International Bureaux; Category XIII: Refugees; and, Category G: General Questions.

Following the descriptions for the supplement there appears the reel index to the Serial Publications portion of the microfilm collection.

1. Annual Epidemiological Reports, 1922-1938.
2. Armaments Year Book, 1924-1939/40.
3. International Health Year Book, 1924-1932.
4. Memoranda on Production and Trade, 1926-1945.
5. Money and Banking, 1913-1944.
6. Official Journal of the League of Nations.
7. Reports of the Mandatory Powers to the League.
8. Review of World Trade, Balance of Payments and International Trade Statistics, 1910-1945.
9. Statistical Year Book of the League of Nations, 1926-1942/44.
10. Statistical Year Book of the Trade in Arms, Ammunition, and Implements of War, 1924-1938.
11. Treaty Series, 1919-1947.
12. World Economic Survey, 1931/32-1942/44.

And finally, a reel index to the Minutes of the Directors Meetings, 1919-1933 has been included in Volume III of the Guide.

II. Subject Matter of the Documents in Volume III

A. Category VIII Communications and Transit

The Organization for Communications and Transit, as constituted by the Assembly of the League of Nations, oversaw the development of cooperation in such areas as air and inland navigation, maritime navigation, and hydroelectric power among the States Members of the League of Nations. Partly arising out of the need to rebuild following the Great War, the Organization for Communications and Transport, along with its various special and permanent committees, was responsible for the codification of laws relating to communications and transport.

B. Category IX: Disarmament

Disarmament documents are those which deal with the effort to achieve "the reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with national safety and the enforcement by common action of international obligations." (Covenant, Article 8.) The Permanent Advisory Commission for Military, Naval, and Air Questions and the Temporary Mixed Commission for the Reduction of Armaments, and their attempts to forestall a future war are traced in this category.

C. Category X: Financial Administration of the League of Nations

Of special bibliographical note in this category is the fact that it was not until 1947 that the last document relating to finances was issued.

D. Category XI: Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs

Documents in this collection relate to the Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs, the Supervisory Body, and the Permanent Central Opium Board, and the work of these three organizations in regulating the manufacture of narcotics and arresting the trade in illegal drugs. While all three organizations operated within the framework of the League of Nations, their functions were distinctly separate. The Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugsthe principal organ in this fieldacted in a supervisory capacity, coordinating international efforts to control the flow of drugs. It was the function of the Supervisory Committee to establish the world needs, on a yearly basis, of dangerous drugs, as a step in controlling their production. Unlike its two sister organizations, the Permanent Central Opium Board, while funded by the League of Nations, acted in a private capacity to set up drug quotas per country, based on the estimates of the Supervisory Body.

E. Category XIIA; Intellectual Cooperation

Category XII, as arranged by the Secretariat, was organized around the idea of international cooperation on many levels. In the microfilm collection this category was divided into two sections, with Category XIIA being devoted to Intellectual Cooperation, and Category XIIB, International Bureaux, covering the remaining areas of international cooperation. Through the Committee on Intellectual Cooperation and its sub-agencies the work of the League of Nations was publicized, and the use of the press and radio as instruments of peace were explored. Efforts were also made in the field of education to expand the use of films as teaching aids and to codify the teaching of history.

F. Category XIIB: International Bureaux

The documents in Category XIIB: International Bureaux cover a multitude of subjects, including child welfare, participation of women in the work of the League of Nations, municipal cooperation, agriculture and commerce. Comprised for the most part of communications from international bureaux operating under the authority of the League of Nations, this category also contains extensive listings of the communications from agencies operating outside the framework of the League of Nations.

G. Category XIII: Refugees

This section documents the plight of refugees, including those of Armenian, Assyrian, Russian and Greek origin. The League explored legal status, resettlement and employment of refugees through the efforts of the High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Labor Organization in the early years, and later, through the Nansen International Refugee Office, in operation from 1931 to 1938. Also included is the documentation of the efforts of the High Commissioner for Refugees Coming from Germany (Jewish and Other), which was organized in 1933.

H. Category G: General Questions

Category G: General Questions contains for the most part those communications emanating from the Secretariat of a technical nature, such as the text of agendas to meetings of the Council or Assembly, any corrections or additions to the agendas, and the times and locations of meetings.

I. Supplementary Reel

The Supplementary Reel which is included in Volume III of the Guide contains a number of documents belonging to Categories IA through VII which were discovered following completion of Volumes I and II. These documents, then, are found on their own reel of film and are separately described, As with all the documents found in the Guide these are organized chronologically and then by category, both on the film and in this volume.

J. Serial Publications

Twelve serial publications of the League of Nations are included in the microfilm project. Also included are the subject indexes which were compiled and published for these publications under the auspices of the LN, thus eliminating the need in this Guide for a descriptive form of index. Instead, the reel index for the serial publications is both chronological and sequential, giving the title of each publication, the year or years it covers, and the reel on which it can be found. Subject indexes appear in the order in which they were published.

K. Minutes of the Directors Meetings of the League of Nations

The final section of the microfilm collection contains the Minutes of the Directors Meetings for 1919-1933; no minutes have been discovered for the period following 1933. During the early period, 1919-1921, a numbering system was assigned to these publications compatible with the early numbering system used for Categories IAGeneral. Later, however, a more simple sequential numbering system was devised, and the first document in any year was given the number 1, and succeeding documents were numbered in order as they were issued. There are three types of documents connected with the Directors Meetings, each with a separate sequential numbering system; Directors Meetings (D.M.) Documents, beginning in 1919; Directors Meeting Papers (D.M.P.), beginning in 1927; and Confidential Circulars (C.C.), beginning in 1923. At the beginning of each year is the index compiled by the LN which contains the subjects covered in the minutes for that year, followed by the D.M., D.M.P., and C.C. Documents.


Thanks are owing to many people without whose direct efforts and cooperation the present Guide would not have been possible. The actual microfilming of the League of Nations Documents would not have occurred without the permission and help of Mr. Joseph Groesbeck, formerly Deputy Director of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library at the United Nations in New York. Mr. Groesbecks cooperation was generously continued by his successor as Deputy Director of the Library, Ms. Marie Toerien. For the Geneva stage of the microfilm project we had the benefit of the aid and permission of Mr. Norman S. Field, Associate Chief Librarian of the United Nations Library in Geneva.

Major acknowledgement is due to Mr. Harry M. Winton, former Chief, Document Reference Section of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library. Mr. Winton acted as the initial editor of the project and had the unenviable task of bibliographically sorting the chronologically organized documents into subject categories. In addition he was responsible for developing most of the basic concepts underlying the present Guide. Whatever strengths it has are owing to his initial suggestions. Its weaknesses are owing to deviations from the stringent standards he recommended.

Additional editorial help was obtained from Mr. Victor-Yves Ghébali of the Dotation Carnegie pour la Paix Internationale in Geneva, who provided extremely useful information with regard to the early document numbering schemes of the League. Mr. Paul Ferster, Executive Editor of Research Publications (now Primary Source Microfilm, an imprint of the Gale Group), should also be mentioned as the one who, along with Harry Winton, saw the initial filming of the Documents through to its completion. Very special thanks are due to Mr. Samuel Freedman, then President, and now Chairman of the Board of Research Publications (now Primary Source Microfilm, an imprint of the Gale Group), who gave unstintingly of his time and other no less important resources throughout the entire filming and bibliographical enterprise. The reason that League Documents had remained unfilmed for so long was the certain knowledge that anyone who wanted to film them would be faced with the enormous expense of subsidizing their calendaring. It is a tribute to Mr. Freedmans concern for scholarly standards in micropublishing that he was willing to accept this responsibility.

Final thanks must be reserved for the two people who toiled in the vineyards from day to day in order to actually generate Volume I of the Guide. Ms. Margaret Brezicki produced the descriptions for subject categories IA, IB, IIA, IIB, and III, while Ms. Mary Beth Bohner performed the same task for subject category IV.

With the completion of the third volume in our three volume League of Nations Guide, we would like to add to the long list of those who deserve special thanks for making this project possible the names of Ms. Martha Tune Briggs, Ms. Eugenia Slone, Ms. Nancy Leonard, and Ms. Anna Barton, whose fine job of document abstracting and editorial effort have successfully concluded our League of Nations 1919-1946 microfilm project.

New Haven, Connecticut
November 1972