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Wales' 'United Nations Information Centre' (UNIC) was opened at the Temple of Peace in Cardiff, following the launch and 'official opening' on 11 Oct 1973 of WCIA, the Welsh Centre for International Affairs. UNIC was one of 5 core programmes of work for the new WCIA, creating an internationalism resource hub in the magnificent Council Chamber / Library of the Temple, which already housed collections from the interwar WLNU (League of Nations Union) and associate bodies, and the post-WW2 United Nations Association. The UNIC had a dedicated Librarian, and a team of 5 archivists (whom are assumed to have been voluntary).

As WCIA approaches its 50th Anniversary in 2023, the Library and its archives collections remain uncer WCIA's guardianship; however, the story behind and information about the UNIC and its role was only uncovered during a St David's Day Archives workshop on 1 March 2023, so we hope to piece together more about this 'hidden history' over coming months.

In Summer 2022, volunteers catalogued the contents of the Temple Library for the first time, enabling WCIA to start curating and bringing together the various collections within it. This document in itself is valuable in understanding the logic behind seemingly disparate UN and European periodicals and publications from the 1970s-80s.

Over Spring 2023, WCIA heritage volunteers will review these listings and research further WCIA background archives, as a step towards drawing together the UNIC Collections for public access, research and interpretation.

Find out more about the Temple of Peace Archives & Collections:

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