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ILO Library Reading Room
The reading room of the ILO Library is open. We are available Monday to Friday by appointment only. To Book a Librarian, please email us at

External researchers wishing to conduct research are invited to make an appointment by contacting our virtual information service at at least 48 hours before your visit. 

ILO Library
4 route des Morillons
CH-1211 Geneva 22

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Historical collections

  1. Since its foundation in 1920, the ILO Library has acquired materials on all subjects related to the world of work including social movements, economic development and labour policies.

    The following collections are held in the ILO Library in Geneva. To discover what we have, the best source is the ILO Digital Collections on Historical collections. Also, we invite you to consult the ILO Digital Repository, Labordoc.

  1. Albert Thomas collection

    This collection contains books, pamphlets and speeches kept by Albert Thomas, the first Director-General of the ILO, as well as a journalist, politician, member of the French cabinet and ambassador. It includes rare works by Albert Thomas himself, including speeches made in his ministerial capacity in France during and after the First World War.

  2. Guigui collection

    This collection, donated by Albert Guigui to the ILO Library in 1982, focuses on the historical and political context of the labour movement, with particular emphasis on the Second World War and social justice issues.

    Albert Guigui, a French metalworker born in Algeria, was also an editor, film technician, militant anarchist and ardent trade unionist. He worked in Europe, Russia and the United States from 1915 to the 1940s. A member of the resistance during the Second World War, he participated in the Philadelphia Conference of the ILO in 1944 and after the war joined the organization full time.

  3. International Management Institute collection

    The library of the former International Management Institute (1927-1933) contains the classics of scientific management and related literature published in the inter-war period from both Europe and overseas in various languages.

  4. League of Nations collection

    This collection is composed of publications of the League of Nations from 1920 - 1945. The collection is organized by series and includes official memoranda and conference proceedings.

  5. International Labour Office of Basle

    The foundation of the Library of the Labour Office of Basle dates from 1901, the year in which the International Association for Labour Legislation was formed at a meeting held in Basle. The ILO purchased the library collection in 1920 and it formed the basis of the ILO Library in Geneva.

  6. Population Censuses collection

    Over 2000 population censuses from various countries published from 1900 - 1955. Recent population censuses are kept in the Labour Statistics collection.

  7. Rare Book collection

    Over 400 rare books and pamphlets that date back to the 18th century, beginning with "The encouragement and increase of seamen consider'd in a letter to a member of Parliament" (1728).

  8. Russian Newspapers and Journals collection

    Over 900 bound volumes of Russian language newspapers from 1900 -1968, including a number of discontinued periodicals.