League of Nations Identity Card of Jean Smith

League of Nations Identity Card 1923 coverWhat a great find!

For the very first time, I saw an identity card of the League of Nations. The ID card came with two typed letters. All documents are in excellent condition. Now, who was Jean Smith, to whom the temporary ID was issued?

The document was valid from Aug 23rd to Dec 25th, 1922, and was signed by the first Secretary-General of the League of Nations, Eric Drummond himself. He was also the longest-serving Secretary-General of all three.

The photograph of Jean is also quite interesting, as it partly colorizes her (in Green) and shows her with a hat. The two typed pages with the headline “In Quest Of A New Britain” is an interesting read.

Content of the typed pages League of Nations Identity Card

The text discusses the need for a New Britain, emphasizing the importance of open discussions and diverse opinions to find solutions. It raises questions about the social system, comparing Social Security to other ideologies.

The text mentions the unfulfilled promise of a better post-war society and highlights the value of the British Commonwealth’s social system achieved through tolerance and patience.

It acknowledges land limitations and proposes a League of Nations or Citizens in the Commonwealth for thoughtful ideas. The text suggests replacing religion with medicine, highlighting impartiality and public trust.

Three Takeaways: League of Nations Identity Card

  • Open dialogue’s significance: The text emphasizes open discussions and diverse viewpoints for effective problem-solving.
  • The current social system’s limitations and unfulfilled promises demand progress to accommodate a growing population.
  • Role of Medicine in Society: The text proposes using the medical profession as a guiding force for societal well-being, emphasizing their impartiality and trustworthiness.

The ID Card

League of Nations Identity Card 1923League of Nations Identity Card 1923









Despite looking for the UN archives, there is no information on Jean Smith’s brief work at the Secretary-General’s office. To resolve this, I’ve sought assistance and shared all relevant details and photos.

Here is the reply of the United Nations Archive in Geneva from Aug 2, 2023.

Dear Tom,
Thank you for your request, and to send us the legitimation card of the League of Nations. Indeed, Ms Jean Smith was part of the temporary staff of the League, as a stenographer during the 3rd Assembly of the League of Nations in 1922. Unfortunately, we do not have any other information such as her birthdate, her address, etc…. I have not found any copy of the letter in the League of Nations archives collection. J.O. – United Nations Archives at Geneva –

Mata Hari Identity Papers


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Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...

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Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.

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A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

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During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...

8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?

Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.

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A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

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Question? Contact me...