The archives hold records documenting the activities of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (formerly called the League of Red Cross Societies) that date from the foundation of the League in 1919.

The principle topics are: governance of the IFRC; disaster relief operations; refugee relief operations; health, especially nursing education, blood donation/transfusion, community health; Junior Red Cross (children); Centenary of the Red Cross; Red Cross Red Crescent and peace.

The archival records are open to the public only by appointment with an archivist.

Contact the archivist

For further information on the archives, or to arrange an appointment with an archivist, please contact the archivists at the IFRC secretariat in Geneva:

Tel: +41 22 730 42 39 / +41 22 730 43 19
Fax: +41 22 733 03 95
Email: archives.contact@ifrc.org

Rules governing access to the IFRC archives
  1. The secretariat classifies as public the following records:
    • IFRC publications that the secretariat makes available for sale to the public or distributes to the public for free.
    • Decisions of the General Assembly, and policies and reports adopted through a decision, except for those decisions, policies and reports designated confidential by the General Assembly.
    • Decisions of the Governing Board, and reports adopted through a decision, except for those decisions and reports designated confidential by the Governing Board.
    • Minutes and reports of the General Assembly and of the Governing Board more than 20 years old.
    • Unrestricted files of the secretariat that are more than 30 years old.
  2. The period after which a record becomes public is calculated from the date on which the record is closed.
  3. Records classified “restricted”, which are generally records containing personal data, are closed to the public.
  4. Digital cameras are permitted for making copies of documents.
Archives of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Some National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies maintain archives documenting the activities of the National Society. Several National Society archives have e-mail addresses and/or websites (see below). For further information on the archives of a specific National Society, please contact the National Society directly.

Other archives

  • Prisoners of war
  • Civilian victims of war

Contact the International Committee of the Red Cross Archives

Victims of Nazi persecution:

  • Civilians incarcerated in concentration camps, ghettos, Gestapo prisons
  • Forced labour
  • Displaced persons

Contact the International Tracing Service – Bad Arolsen