About the ICRC Library

Created in 1863, the Library of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is almost as old as the institution itself. The library’s collections reflect the work of the ICRC to protect and assist victims of armed conflict throughout 150 years of humanitarian action.

The ICRC Library’s main collection focus on international humanitarian law (IHL), the work of the ICRC and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the challenges of humanitarian work, issues of humanitarian concern in war and the history and development of armed conflict. The ICRC Library’s other areas of interest include international criminal law, human rights, weapons, detention, refugees and displaced persons.

The ICRC Library also holds specific collections

  • Rare documents dating back to the creation of the ICRC up until the end of World War I
  • National Societies publications, from their creation up until the 70′
  • Legislation enacted by States to implement IHL at the domestic level, as well as case law and military manuals
  • Preparatory documents and final acts from the diplomatic conferences of 1949, 1977 and 2005
  • Preparatory documents and final reports from the Council of Delegates and the International Conferences of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
  • The International Review of the Red Cross from its first issue
  • All ICRC HQ publications

The ICRC Library Team welcomes researchers and visitors and brings to their disposal:

  • The ICRC Library’s collections and online catalogue
  • Work places with free Wi-Fi access for smartphones and laptops
  • Computers with access to a range of electronic databases


The ICRC Library and Archives official blog allows the ICRC Library Team to communicate on its work aiming to bring the ICRC Library’s collections closer to the researchers, such as:

  • The last digitised documents
  • The last acquired documents
  • Its quarterly and annual IHL bibliography
  • Research guides
  • etc.