Memory of the World: Dag Hammar­skjöld

How to use the material

Dag Hammarskjöld was Secretary-General of the United Nations between 1953 and 1961 and fought for global peace and security. In 2017, the Hammarskjöld archives was included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World register.

About the Dag Hammarskjöld Collection at UNESCO's website

This material consists of text and images for social media to tell the story of Dag Hammarskjöld's life and work. Please make sure to always include the names of the photographers, or sources, of the photos you use.

Photos

Dag Hammarskjöld smoking a pipe.
Download photo from Libris

Portrait photo of Dag Hammarskjöld

Dag Hammarskjöld shaking hands with someone.
Download photos from Libris

Dag Hammarskjöld in Somalia

Captions

Statement by John F. Kennedy, 1961: ‘… by his courage, his wisdom, his statesmanship, and his personal dedication to the fulfilment of the never-ceasing quest for peace and justice, he earned the respect and gratitude of all men of good will throughout the world…’

We honour the memory of Dag Hammarskjöld (1905–1961), an influential diplomat and peace arbitrator who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961.

Hammarskjöld was Secretary-General of the United Nations between 1953 and 1961 and fought for global peace and security right up until his death, but would sadly not get to experience the award during his lifetime.

He died in a plane crash in Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) in September 1961, when he was on his way to negotiate peace in the ongoing Congo Crisis. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize posthumously later that year. There are still unanswered questions about his death.

In his will from 1958, Hammarskjöld requested that his archives be donated to the National Library of Sweden, in Stockholm. Today, his collection – which includes everything from children’s drawings and school grades, to official UN documents, scripts and letters – can be accessed at the National Library. Hammarskjöld was also a keen hobby photographer, and the collection includes 2,000 of his photos.

Altogether, the Hammarskjöld heritage covers 45 shelf metres (!) in the National Library’s underground storage rooms.

In 2017, the Hammarskjöld collection was included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World register. This means that it’s considered valuable to all of humanity and should therefore be preserved and made accessible.

#NobelPeacePrize

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