Fonds AG-010 - International Penal and Penitentiary Commission (1872-1955)

Identity area

Reference code



International Penal and Penitentiary Commission (1872-1955)


  • 1889 - 1958 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

Size/Number of Items/Parts: 38.5 linear ft. of textual records, No. of Boxes: 77

Context area

Name of creator

Administrative history

The International Penal and Penitentiary Commission was founded in 1872; dormant 1939-1945; dissolved in 1955.

It was established further to a series of conferences, most notably the First International Congress on the Prevention and Repression of Crime, held in London in 1872.

The original mandate was to collect penitentiary statistics, to encourage penal reform, and to convene further international conferences, in order to advise the participating governments on the reform of criminals, the prevention of crime, and on prison reform. In 1926 a permanent office was established in Bern, Switzerland.

In 1925, 1930, and 1935 the Commission and the League of Nations held joint conferences (in Berlin, London, and Paris). On 14 December 1950 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the recommendation of the Economic and Social Council that the International Penal and Penitentiary Commission functions, which by that time consisted primarily of organizing a conference every 5 years, be transferred to the United Nations.

The conferences were called UN Congresses on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders.

Names of the Commission varied as follows: International Penal Commission (from 1872), International Penal and Prison Commission (exact dates not established), and International Penal and Penitentiary Commission (1929-1955).

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of the following records of the Commission, which were turned over to the United Nations when the Commission's functions were transferred to it. Each series documents a particular period of the organization, with the Office of the Treasurer the by the Secretary-General's correspondence next, and finally the Records Registry of the Permanent Office (where the predominant date starts about 1927). Fonds consists of the following record series.

S-0536-Office of the Treasurer - records of governmental contribution (1893-1929)
S-0914-Secretary-General's correspondence (1911-1926)

*S-0915-Records Registry files of the permanent office (1912-1958)

Conditions of access: Almost the entire fonds has no access restrictions; one item in S-0915-0051-01 is "Strictly confidential"Some access limitations apply. See the series and file levels of description for details and consult the archivist.

Languages: Most of the records are in French

77 boxes

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Some access limitations apply. See the series and file levels of description for details and consult the archivist.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

    Script of material

      Language and script notes

      Physical characteristics and technical requirements

      Finding aids

      Series descriptions and file lists available

      Uploaded finding aid

      Allied materials area

      Existence and location of originals

      Existence and location of copies

      Related units of description

      Related descriptions

      Notes area

      Alternative identifier(s)

      Previous number(s)


      Access points

      Subject access points

      Place access points

      Name access points

      Genre access points

      Description control area

      Description identifier

      Institution identifier

      Rules and/or conventions used

      Disclosure policy

      Level of detail

      Dates of creation revision deletion




          Accession area