- 1944 - 1953 (Creation)
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S-0920 consists of records documenting the United Nations Population Division, a subdivision of the United Nations’ Department of Social Affairs. The records span from 1944 through 1953 and highlight the United Nations’ interest in migration trends and population change, as well as its efforts to improve the standardization of international census taking. The collection is comprised of conference files and research, some of which was maintained by the Office of the Director.
S-0920 contains two boxes of migration studies meeting materials. Records of the International Labour Organization’s Preliminary Conference on Migration held in April and May 1950 at the International Labour Office in Geneva, Switzerland, consist of planning memoranda and working papers on migration studies submitted by participating countries. Also included within the series are files for the International Labour Organization’s Inter-Agency Meeting on Migration Issues held at the International Labour Office in September 1950 and a follow-up conference in Naples in October 1951, as well as an International Seminar on Statistical Organization held in Ottawa in October 1952. In addition, several files document the work of United Nations committees formed to study migration patterns such as the Permanent Migration Committee of the International Labour Organization, the Inter-Divisional Committee on Migration, and the Technical Working Group on Migration.
The remainder (and bulk) of the collection consists of research on migration and population trends assembled by the United Nations Population Division. These files reflect the Population Division’s primary responsibility of compiling demographic data for United Nations offices and specialized agencies. During its earliest years, the division’s projects included a collaboration with the Statistical Office of the Department of Economic Affairs on a demographic yearbook for 1948 and assistance with the preparation of national censuses conducted by United Nations member states during and around 1950.
Included within these files are studies concerning the policies, prerequisites, and procedures of migration, as well as population and migration statistics by country. The series also includes documentation of the Population Division’s partnership with the Library of Congress on a comprehensive bibliography of migration studies during the early 1950s.
Population Division files originally maintained by the Office of the Director include an annotated bibliography of primary and secondary source material on population trends, data tables addressing inconsistencies among census taking techniques, and correspondence regarding division activities. Files maintained specifically by the office of Frank Wallace Notestein, the Population Division’s first director, include population estimates by country and data concerning demographic changes due to World War II. The latter deals with such topics as displaced persons receiving United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration support and World War II casualty figures.
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