Library and Information Networks for Knowledge

Searching the WHO Library Database (WHOLIS)

Contents of the WHO library database

The library database (WHOLIS) is the collective electronic memory for all WHO documentation. It contains bibliographic information with subject headings and, for some records, abstracts. Separate entries are made for English, French and Spanish versions when available. Other language versions are indicated in the record.
In some of the records, there is a field labelled "Electronic Access" which gives a link to the full text of the documentation.

  • WHO publications (from headquarters and the regional and associated offices - 1948 to the present)
    Full text links are currently being made for out-of-print publications. For some out-of-print publications, full text is already available
  • Individual Records for Articles in WHO periodicals
    Full text links are provided for the articles from:
    • Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 1997 to the present
    • Weekly Epidemiological Record, 1996 to the present
  • Individual Records for Articles concerning WHO activities from scientific periodicals worldwide
  • Technical Documents - unrestricted (from headquarters and regional office programmes - 1986 to the present)
    Full text links are provided for almost all of these (approx. 11,000 records)
  • Governing Body Documents
    From the World Health Assembly and the Executive Board - 1986 to the present and Regional Committee Reports
  • Press Releases, WHO Newsletters, Audiovisual Material, CD-ROMs

Also available in WHOLIS is bibliographic information on the following materials in the library collection:

  • Books from other publishers
  • Books and reports from other inter-governmental agencies and NGO's
  • List of the periodical titles held in the Library (about 3000 titles)
  • Books in the WHO Library Historical Collection


  • WHO Policy Documentation database
    Governing Body Documents full text links are not provided in the Library database. Most of them are available full text in the WHO Policy Documentation database.
  • WHO Media Centre
    Press Releases, WHO Newsletters, Audiovisual Material, CD-ROMs
    Full text links to press releases are provided and are also available.