United Nations Career Records Project (UNCRP)

Introduction

The United Nations Career Records Project (UNCRP) was established in 1989 as a joint undertaking of the British Association of Former United Nations Civil Servants (BAFUNCS)  and the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, with the aim of establishing a collection of career and other records of former UN staff, as well as of those in diplomatic, technical, military or non-governmental organisation service linked to the UN system. Not all of the contributors are British, although the majority are. The contributions now number more than 500, providing a substantial database of practical on-the-ground UN experience over the years.

♦  For those interested in contributing, there is a Questionnaire that can be completed on-line and submitted to the BAFUNCS UNCRP Coordinator.

♦  This website includes an Annotated Archive of UNCRP contributions and summary reports.

♦  The Bodleian Library’s archive of individual UNCRP contributions may be accessed on its own website by clicking HERE (TBA)

The Objectives of the UNCRP

1. To encourage BAFUNCS members as well as others to contribute to the UNCRP in the form of completed questionnaires, memoirs, papers, reports, significant letters, and other documents they may have prepared, together with CVs, photos, etc.

2. To make accessible UNCRP resources to a wider public of researchers, students, officials, staff of international organisations, NGOs and family members. They are designed to both facilitate knowledge of the past as well as learn lessons for the future. These resources also provide insight into the careers, experiences and writings of former United Nations staff, as well as into the internal workings of the United Nations System, and thus complement the United Nations’ archives of official documents.

Request for Contributions

Contributions are sought from all former UN staff and their spouses so as to strengthen the historical and personal records of former British, and other, UN staff members.  This applies to both former Professional as well as General Service staff. In order to strengthen the UNCRP collection all former UN staff are requested to consider contributing to it in any of the following ways:

♦  Completing a simple questionnaire

♦  Providing a curriculum vitae (CV)

♦  Submitting memoirs, in any style, format or length

♦  Providing photos of special events, with captions

♦  Providing unpublished papers, manuscripts, letters, UN reports, etc.

♦  Oral interview recordings (tape, CD)

Contributions should preferably be submitted electronically, but hard copy material is also welcome. Contributors are invited to indicate programmes and projects etc. with which they were associated, and to highlight lessons from their experience. The experiences of spouses are also particularly appreciated. Potential contributors may stipulate that papers may be closed for a period of years on the grounds of confidentiality. Contributors and their descendants retain ownership of their personal copyright even while donating their material

A key element of the above is the completion of a standard questionnaire which is up-dated periodically according to needs, and is also available from the UNCRP Coordinator, Michael Askwith (career.records@bafuncs.org) who will send you, if necessary, a hard copy of the UNCRP questionnaire, together with Notes on Completing it and Guidelines for Contributions.

It is also possible to record your contributions on tape, as part of an “oral history”.  If this approach is of interest, please contact the UNCRP: career.records@bafuncs.org

UNCRP Guide for Researchers

To make the Project better known and facilitate researchers’ access to this material, a Guide to UNCRP for Researchers was published in 2017, in the main as an e-book  but with a limited number of hard copies.

Simply clicking here will bring up the whole Guide, which presents summary information on the careers of more than 500 former UN staff and those with associations with the UN. It provides career summaries according to the contributor’s organisation affiliation, i.e. the UN Secretariat, the UN Funds and Programmes, UN Specialised Agencies and related organisations.

The Guide also provide an Index of Names (pp 131-134); an Index of Keywords (pp. 135-140); and a Selected List of similar and related resources.

The Guide includes fascinating thumbnail sketches of a rich variety of former UN staff who made significant contributions in their fields of expertise. Examples include the reminiscences of ‘Mohicans’ like Walter Hoffmann and Bill Tanzer; of the malariologist Jim Cullen’s conscious exposure of his arms and thighs to hungry mosquitoes; Colin Everard and his novels on air safety, based on his time with ICAO; Dame Iris Murdoch’s work for UNRRA; autobiographies by George Bishop, Duncan Forbes, Kenneth Sargent and Martin Barber among others; Brigadier Michael Harbottle’s proposals for peace-making roles for the world’s armies; and Molly Bruce’s work with Eleanor Roosevelt for women’s and human rights.


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