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Establishment of the League of Nations – Pic of the Week

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Today, January 10, 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the League of Nations.  The idea of an international coalition had been discussed in the 19th century but more attention to the idea developed during World War I when organizations in the United Kingdom and the United States (the League to Enforce Peace and the League of Nations) discussed the need for an institution that encouraged collective security.  President Woodrow Wilson summed up the aims of the proposed league in his famous Fourteen Points speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress.  Wilson was also instrumental in drafting the covenant that established the League, but he could not persuade the U.S. Senate to approve the Treaty of Versailles or become a member of the League.

Although the U.S. was not a member of the League, the Law Library of Congress holds the League of Nations treaties in our collections.  The indexes to the treaties are in the Reading Room while the text of the treaties, which are in both English and French, are in closed stacks and can ordered by patrons through the Automated Call Slip system.  The United Nations provides access to digital versions of the treaties.

The League of Nations Treaty Series sits on a library bookshelf. Seven of the books are rust-colored and two are green.
Indexes to the League of Nations Treaties in the Law Library Reading Room / photograph by Andrew Weber


A librarian examines the title page of the Index to the League of Nations treaty series.
Title page for the Index to the League of Nations treaty series / photograph by Andrew Weber



  1. The Library of Congress is playing a vital role in these very challenging times for World Peace. I found it both encouraging and humbling to be able to be guided to the focus of a 100 year anniversary that the civilized world hopes to enhance in the wisdom and great benefit that World Peace Provides and an indirect but important endorsement of but the 5 year anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals for the World.The important step of 100 years ago helped us have 192 nations sign on to the SDG’s 5 years ago.Let us honor all our ethical sustainable accomplishments and provide the future with a present that a wise peaceful present can be accomplished.As always I am deeply grateful for the very high quality and value the Library of Congress provides America and the World. Thank you.

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