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The International Institut of Intellectual Cooperation (IICI): Introduction

About this Guide

The International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation (IICI) was created within the League of Nations in 1924 and formally inaugurated in 1926. Its purpose was to assist in the promotion of intellectual cooperation between States. The Institute, considered a predecessor of UNESCO, was the executing agency of the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation (ICIC). The Institute carried out the Committee's decisions and recommendations. Its documentary sources, as well as an introduction to its role, activities, and relationships, are outlined in this guide.

The archives of the IICI are held in the UNESCO Archives in Paris, France. The fonds consists of over 500 archival boxes of documents and correspondence, and an estimated 800 publications in several languages, altogether dating from 1918 to 1955. The IICI archives are available in full-text online, except for the publications and certain documents series, which may be consulted in the UNESCO Archives Reading Room in Paris.

This guide was created in 2022 on the occasion of the centenary of the ICIC. It complements the guide League of Nations: Intellectual Cooperation created by the United Nations Library & Archives Geneva.

Plenary session of the IICI in the Palais Wilson, between 1924 and 1927.

UNESCO Archives: Contact and information

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Structure and organization of the IICI fonds

The IICI archives held by UNESCO is a rich source of documentation that helps to shed light on efforts in international intellectual cooperation in the first half of the twentieth century, including the inter-war period and during World War II. The IICI archives complement the League of Nations fonds held by the United Nations Library & Archives Geneva.

The IICI fonds is organized into the following series: 

For more information about the content and organization of the fonds, see also the Inventory of the Archives of the IICI, 1925-1946.

Copyright Statement

UNESCO provides reproductions of items from its archives for non-commercial or personal uses. UNESCO cannot give or deny permission to reproduce or distribute materials found in its archives for which it does not own full copyright. It is the user's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when reproducing or distributing materials found in UNESCO's archival collections.