Good Legislation mural in Main Reading Room Lobby by Elihu Vedder

With approximately 2.65 million volumes, the Law Library’s collection of primary and secondary sources constitutes the largest legal collection in the world. The collection is also the most comprehensive, covering all of the approximately 260 jurisdictions as well as many former nations and colonies.

Additionally, the collection includes 20,200 serial titles, 83,500 reels of microform and 2.268 million pieces of microfiche. On average, the collection grows annually by 50,000 volumes, 1,700 reels of microfilm, 75,000 pieces of microfiche, 50,000 serial pieces and 50,000 official gazettes.

Scope

Comprehensive geographically, the collection also spans all periods of law, from the most ancient and primitive to the most contemporary and sophisticated. All systems of law – common, civil, customary, religious and socialist – are represented, as are all topics within the law.

The Law Library is a repository for the complete record of American Law.  Additions are constantly being made to the collection of:

  • U.S. Congress bills, resolutions, hearings and other documents
  • U.S. federal and state government documents of a legal nature
  • Legal newspapers of major U.S. cities
  • Records and briefs of the U.S. Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal

The International Law collection covers all major national, state and equivalent jurisdictions. The Law Library attempts to acquire and retain for the permanent collections the following types of important legal publications:

  • Official gazettes
  • Constitutions
  • Codes
  • Session laws
  • Administrative rules and regulations
  • Commentaries and indexes to laws, rules and regulations
  • Judicial court decisions and reports
  • Administrative court decisions and reports
  • Digests and indexes of decisions and reports
  • Legal bibliographies
  • Directories of the legal profession
  • Legal dictionaries and encyclopedias

On a selective or representative basis, the Law Library also collects:

  • legal periodicals and their indexes
  • treatises
  • law school theses and dissertations
  • legislative histories
  • publications of bar associations

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Last Updated: 02/28/2014