Intellectual Cooperation and International Bureaux Section, 1919-1946 (Sub-Fonds)

Archive plan context

 

Information on identification

Title:Intellectual Cooperation and International Bureaux Section
Creation date(s):1919 - 1946
Level:Sub-Fonds
 

Information on extent

Archival Material Types:Paper File(s) / Document(s)
Extent:314 boxes
 

Information on context

Administration history:The Intellectual Cooperation and International Bureaux Section represented the Secretariat of the Intellectual Cooperation Organisation of the League of Nations. It had also relationships with the different international bureaux and associations and was the secretariat for the Assembly or the Council which requested cooperation with international bureaux.

1) International Bureaux Section:

The International Bureaux Section was created in 1919 to carry out the obligations stipulated in the first paragraph of Article 24 of the Covenant: "Each international office set up by collective treaties will be placed under the League of Nations authority, subject to its agreement". But most of the existing international bureaux (sometimes already existing for more than a century) didn't agree to be absorbed by the League of Nations apart from some such as the International Assistance Bureau, the International Hydrographical Bureau, the International Central Bureau for the Liquors Trade Control in Africa, the International Exhibition Bureau and the International Commission for Air Navigation, as well as the Nansen Office for Refugees, when it became autonomous. These Bureaux were in permanent relationships with the International Bureaux Section or with the corresponding technical Section of the Secretariat.

The International Bureaux Section could almost have become obsolete if it had not become a correspondence service with various international bureaux, whether or not under the League of Nations supervision (and even associations), and especially if educational and youth questions, as well as intellectual cooperation, had not become more and more important.

Up to 1925, this Section was called the International Bureaux Section. From 1927 to 1939, it was the Intellectual Cooperation and International Bureaux Section. In 1939, the Intellectual Cooperation and International Bureaux Section was incorporated into Department I and in 1940 into Department III.

2) Intellectual Cooperation Organisation:

Although it was not clearly mentioned in the Covenant, the League of Nations was concerned not only with the exchange of political ideals and material goods, but also with reinforcing intellectual relationships between States. The League of Nations could hardly fail therefore, to put intellectual "rapprochement" in the forefront of its activities, and in so doing it was bound to make an appeal to those who devoted themselves to educational and intellectual work in each nation.

Therefore, already in 1920 the Assembly was considering the possible setting-up of a technical organization attached to the League of Nations: the Intellectual Cooperation Organisation.
It was composed of:

- the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation set up in 1922, which was the advisory organ of the Assembly and the Council. It directed the work of intellectual cooperation, was in charge of promoting intellectual work and international relationships between scientists, researchers, teachers, artists and members of intellectual professions and improving working conditions of intellectual workers. Taking into account the composition of the Committee by such distinguished people as Henri Bergson, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Béla Bartók, Thomas Mann, Paul Valery etc., the intellectual contacts which it helped to restore after the war, and the mutual understanding and goodwill it symbolized, it became apparent that the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation in itself represented an act of "rapprochement" between the nations.

- Committees of Experts appointed on a needs basis, to answer special questions. The International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation collaborated with these different Committees of Experts, such as the Permanent Committee on Arts and Letters, the International Commission on Historical Monuments, the Committee of Scientific Advisers, the Committee of Architectural Experts, the Committee of Library Experts, the Committee of Expert Archivists, the Committee on Intellectual Rights, etc.

- and three working bodies:
- the Intellectual Cooperation Section: the main objective of this Section was to encourage international intellectual cooperation (protection of scientific property, library questions, university and school matters, education, youth questions, the future of culture, international collaboration in arts and literature, protection of historical monuments, cooperation between museums or libraries, copyrights, etc.) in order to promote international understanding between States as a means to preserve peace. This Section was the Secretariat of the Intellectual Cooperation Organisation and its related bodies for which it prepared the work and meetings. It also was the administrative Secretariat of the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation, in its relations with the Council and the Assembly and for official communications with Governments. Furthermore, it was the channel of communication with the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation and the Educational Cinematographic Institute.

- the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation, set up in Paris in 1924 by, and at the expense of, the French Government. It began work in 1926. As the executive organ of the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation, it carried out the Committee's decisions and recommendations. The International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation, in association with the Intellectual Cooperation and International Bureaux Section, was in charge of preparing the work and documents of the sessions of the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation and of Expert Committees. The archives of the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation are kept in Paris at UNESCO.

- the International Educational Cinematographic Institute. Radio and cinema were also considered as a means to reinforce intellectual cooperation between States. For this purpose, the International Educational Cinematographic Institute was created in Rome in 1928, by the Italian Government. It worked in close collaboration with the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation in Paris. Its main objective was to encourage the production, distribution and exchange of educational films.

The Intellectual Cooperation Organisation, whose principal organ was the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation, operated from 1922 to 1946. Its work has been carried on by UNESCO.
 

Information on related materials

Related material:- Secretariat Fonds: Transit Section, and Economic and Financial Section (for the relationships with specialized international bureaux), Mandates Section ("Liquor traffic and teaching), Information Section (about school propaganda questions), Financial Administration (for the international bureaux during the first years) and Refugees mixed archival group (Nansen fonds);

- UNESCO (Paris) keeps the files of the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation;

- the International Educational Cinematographic Institute (Roma), but there is no information as to the fate of the archives of this Institute;

- the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Roma), but the fate of its archives is up to now unknown;

- the files of the International Bureaux.
 

Usage

End of term of protection:12/31/1986
Permission required:None
Physical Usability:Without limits
Accessibility:Public
 

URL for this unit of description

URL:http://biblio-archive.unog.ch/Detail.aspx?ID=408
 
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