Official Records are resolutions, meeting transcripts, and other "final" or "official" materials of a UN body. They get a document symbol (see above).
Masthead Documents are generally "draft" or "working" documents written by UN bodies or member states. Masthead Documents also get a document symbol. Some Masthead Documents get republished (eventually) as Official Records.
Sales Publications are UN publications that have been attractively formatted (photos, cover art) for sale. They may have a Sales Publication number, although this is NOT a UN document symbol.
Other Publications: the UN also issues a variety of other reports and documents, such as press releases, research guides, and so on. These documents do not have UN document symbols.
UN Document Databases
Full-text is generally 1993-present although some databases have selected older materials.
Citations are 1946-present (AccessUN) or 1979-present (UNBISNET).
ODS has full text documents and covers all types of official United Nations documentation, beginning in 1993. Includes resolutions of the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council from 1946 onwards. For best results, use the Advanced Search option and enter a keyword, then click on 'Lexicon' to find the best match.
This database indexes United Nations documents and publications from the six main bodies of the United Nations. Of particular interest to researchers are treaties in the UN Treaty Series, citations to UN resolutions, Masthead documents (formerly referred to as mimeographed documents), Official Records, limited and restricted documents, and documents emanating from sessional and standing committees, functional commissions, conferences, and regional bodies.
The 'Readex Year' field identifies documents included in the Readex microfiche collection, available in the Government Documents and Microforms area on the first floor of Lauinger Library. For full-text documents from 1993 to the present, also check the UN ODS: Official Documents of the United Nations.
UNBISNET is the catalog of the UN's Dag Hammarskjöld Library. Includes links to the full-text of many UN documents. It covers three main areas: Bibliographic Records from 1979 to present, Voting Records from 1946 to present, and an index to speeches.
This collection contains exact reproductions of major United Nations legal publications, including the complete collection of the United Nations Treaty Series and others. Finding Aids and additional features make it easy to pull up a UN Treaty by entering a UNTS Citation, search for a UN Treaty, and link to law review articles that cite a UN Treaty.
Also includes: the League of Nations Treaty Series, the Monthly Statement of Treaties & International Agreements, UNCITRAL Publications, the United Nations Legislative Series and much more.
The Journal of the United Nations, also called the "Daily Journal," lists upcoming meetings (often with agendas) and other UN business. Past issues from 2003 are available on the Journal's website; for older issues consult ODS.
A handy collection of the major reports put out by UN agencies. Includes basic statistics on the UN.
Finding UN Documents in Print
Many older UN publications are available by searching GEORGE for "United Nations" as an author and looking for individually cataloged titles. If you are looking for a resolution from the GA or Security Council, the following resources may be helpful:
The Dag Hammarskjöld Library in New York has the most extensive collection of UN documents in the nation (and possibly the world). If you're trying to track down an elusive UN document, try their AskDAG service.