UNESCO is instructed by its constitution to ‘Maintain, increase and diffuse knowledge … by initiating methods of international co‐operation calculated to give the peoples of all countries access to the printed and published materials produced by any of them’. As one of the methods of carrying out this function the programmes of Unesco both for 1947 and 1948 specifically included plans to ‘facilitate the improvement of scientific documentation and abstracting’, and an Expert Committee on Scientific Abstracting was called together at Unesco House in Paris during the 7th, 8th, and 9th of April 1948, under the joint authority of the Libraries and Natural Science sections, for preliminary work in connexion with an international conference to be held at a later date.
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