UNU Library

Committed to providing reliable and high-quality information services

UNU Headquarters Japan

The United Nations University Library is committed to providing reliable and high-quality library and information services to assist and enhance the activities of the University. It is located in the headquarters building in Tokyo and manages collections and information resources development, library networking and consortia. The UNU Library organizes instructional sessions in the use of its resources and maintains the archives in support of research and postgraduate educational programmes throughout the UNU System.


The library is open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00–13:00 and 14:00–17:00.  

An advance appointment is required. Please send your request to library@unu.edu including the following information:

  • Prefix (Ms./Mr./Dr./Prof./others)
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Job Title
  • Organization
  • Professional Information
  • Purpose of Visit
  • Date and Time of Visit


The Library collection comprises materials on subjects related to such UNU themes as peace, security and human rights; development governance; population and health; global change and sustainable development; science, technology and society; the UN system; as well as sustainability science.

Online research resources

For a full list of online resources, visit the UNU Library website. Resources are also accessible in the Library through public computer terminals. Instruction sessions are organized to guide researchers and students in the use of subscribed electronic resources.

Library access and borrowing

The United Nations University Library (UNU Library) is located on the second floor of the UNU HQ in Tokyo, Japan. The Library is available to assist in the achievement of the overall objectives of UNU. Library materials and information resources are collected and made available primarily for members of the UNU community including staff members, fellows, researchers, visiting scholars, affiliate scholars, associate personnel, postgraduate students and members of the UN agencies at the UNU HQ building. The UNU Library maintains open to the public policy.

Former UNU / UN employees and UNU alumni

UNU employees and alumni have access and borrowing privileges. However, you will be asked to present proof of your employment or enrollment upon your library membership registration. Former employee or alumni status does not provide off-site access to to the library’s e-resource subscriptions.

Visitors including external researchers and other university students

When operating under normal circumstances, the UNU Library is open to the public and all collections and resources are accessible. Advance appointment by phone or email during opening hours is recommended for specific materials or reference inquiries.

Borrowing books and other materials

The UNU Library’s Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) is a tool to search and find the collected materials. Please consult the Library staff for specific information or requests for retrieval.

Reciprocal collaboration institutions (as of May 2022)

Faculty, staff and students from reciprocal collaboration institutions are provided with borrowing privileges upon presenting a UNU Library card from each of the university libraries listed below. 


  • Aoyama Gakuin University Library (Tokyo)
  • Bunkyo University Shonan Library (Chigasaki-city, Kanagawa Prefecture)
  • International Christian University Library (Tokyo)
  • National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies Library (Tokyo)
  • Ochanomizu University Library (Tokyo)
  • Sophia University Library (Tokyo)
  • Temple University Japan Library (Tokyo)

* Students from institutions other than the above must contact your university libraries to arrange inter-library loan requests to the UNU Library.

Organizations and Associations

  • JICA Library, Japan International Cooperation Agency (Tokyo)
  • Association of Former International Civil Servants – Japan (Tokyo)

Reference services and inquiries

The Library accepts all inquiries from the public. Assistance in identifying materials, information retrieval and instruction in using electronic resources and databases on various subjects will be provided by Library staff members on request (library@unu.edu).