One hundred years after the creation of the League of Nations, which would give rise to the United Nations, the Institute of Contemporary History (NOVA FCSH) presents, from a broad documentary and iconographic basis, an exhibition that aims to provide an international and transnational approach. It also focuses on the involvement of Portuguese personalities, officials and civil society in its history.

Established in the aftermath of the First World War, when the Treaty of Versailles was drafted, the League of Nations was the first attempt to provide international society with a collective security mechanism that could avert a catastrophe such as the great loss of life that took place between 1914 and 1918, while encouraging the search for concerted answers to global problems. Its existence was bumpy and failed to prevent a new world conflagration in 1939. But the utopia that gave it life – to keep international relations from being held hostage by the law of the stronger – continued to inspire reformers and visionary leaders, and was taken up in 1945, by those who created the United Nations.

The exhibition is supported by the United Nations Library & Archives Geneva.

More information is available here.


Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal
Serviço de Actividades Culturais
Campo Grande, 83
1749-081 Lisbon