Legal Documents Collection

I. Collection Description


To support the mission of the Law Library (see the Law Library's Collection Development Statement) and to a lesser extent, to supplement the resources of other library units who need access to federal and state documents.

History of Collection:

By Congressional designation, the Law Library became a selective depository for United States government documents in 1966. In 1970, the Law Library was selected as a complete depository for Illinois documents. The Documents Division librarians of the Law Library have selected appropriate documents from other states since the early 1970's. Many large sets of law-related documents (for example, the Congressional Record and its predecessors, the U.S. Serial Set, the United States Reports, the Federal Register, the Code of Federal Regulations, and the Statutes at Large) were already in the Law Library's collection and other serials and important groups of documents predating depository status have been acquired. We have historically selected 20-30% of the available federal documents. By arrangement with the courts, the Documents Division receives records and briefs from the Illinois Supreme Court and the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, we are a depository for case files from the Illinois Pollution Control Board.

Estimate of Holdings:

Although the size of the documents collection has never been accurately figured, we currently add approximately 20,000 documents per year.

State, Regional and National Importance:

The Law Library is one of 55 selective federal depositories in Illinois and is one of over 30 Illinois depositories. We are also one of the few libraries that receive significant numbers of Illinois Supreme Court and 7th Circuit records and briefs.

Unit Responsible for Collecting:

Documents Division, Law Library.

Location of Materials:

The bulk of the legal documents collection is located in the basement of the Law Library. Boxes of old briefs are also housed in a storage room in the Law School Building. By virtue of an acquisitions agreement between the Law Library and the Labor and Industrial Relations Library, certain federal documents from the Bureau of Labor Statistics are housed in the Labor Library. (We hope to expand this program to include other libraries on campus in the future.) The Documents Library and the Bookstacks contain the largest collections of federal and Illinois documents.

Citations of Works Describing the Collection:

None available.

II. General Collection Guidelines


Virtually all documents are written in English. A very small number are in Spanish.

Chronological Guidelines:

No restrictions.

Geographical Guidelines:

Documents published by the federal and state governments are collected.

Treatment of Subject:

Law and law-related documents are collected, including interdisciplinary materials and topics of current, popular interest. The Documents Library collects federal and Illinois government documents on a comprehensive level (federal documents at a 90-95 percent depository level and Illinois documents at a 100 percent level), and various libraries throughout the system collect such documents according to their subject interests. In some cases, as with the Agriculture Library, the Law Library collects documents on its depository program and distributes them to the interested libraries.

Types of Materials:

Most formats are collected with emphasis on books and microformats. (Maps are generally excluded).

Date of Publication:

No restrictions. However, documents are generally printed in small numbers and go out-of-print rather quickly, so retrospective collection is somewhat hampered.

Place of Publication:

U.S. imprints only.

III. Collection Responsibility by Subject Subdivisions with Qualifications, Levels of Collecting Intensity, and Assignments

Below is a table that lists specific subject subdivisions within the collection. Each row in the table lists a specific subject subdivision, followed by three columns noting: Collection Strength, Primary Assignments and Secondary Assignments. The Existing Collecting Strength column notes how well the existing collection covers that topic on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being very strong. The Primary Assignments column lists departmental libraries that have the greatest collection intensity of subject materials, respectively. In the case of 2 or more libraries listed, the collection intensity is comparable. The Secondary Assignments column list departmental libraries where additional materials may be found.

Legal Documents Collection
FEDERAL (by agencies):
Agriculture Department 1 Law Depository
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency 4 Law Depository
Commerce Department (including Census) 2 Law Depository
Civil Aeronautics Board 1 Law Depository
Federal Communications Commission 4 Law Depository
Civil Rights Commission 4 Law Depository
Defense Department 3 Law Depository
Education Department 1 Law Depository
Energy Department 1 Law Depository
Environmental Protection Agency 1 Law Depository
Federal Emergency Management Agency 1 Law Depository
Federal Home Loan Bank Board 1 Law Depository
Federal Maritime Commission 1 Law Depository
Federal Reserve Board of Governors 3 Law Depository
Federal Trade Commission 4 Law Depository
General Accounting Office 3 Law Depository
Government Printing Office 4 Law Depository
General Services Administration 3 Law Depository
Health and Human Services Department 3 Law Depository
Housing and Urban Development 3 Law Depository
Interior Department 1 Law Depository
Interstate Commerce Commission 1 Law Depository
International Trade Commission 1 Law Depository
Justice Department 4 Law Depository
Judiciary 4 Law Depository
Labor Department 4 Law Depository
Library of Congress 3 Law Depository
National Labor Relations Board 4 Law Depository
National Credit Union Administration 1 Law Depository
National Mediation Board 4 Law Depository
National Science Foundation 1 Law Depository
Postal Service 1 Law Depository
Personnel Management Office 1 Law Depository
President 4 Law Depository
Small Business Administration 1 Law Depository
State Department 4 Law Depository
Securities and Exchange Commission 4 Law Depository
Smithsonian Institution 1 Law Depository
Transportation Department 3 Law Depository
Treasury Department (including IRS) 4 Law Depository
Veterans' Administration 2 Law Depository
Congress (including congressional committees and commissions) 4 Law Depository
(All Illinois documents that are available are received; the Illinois depository system does not allow selectivity.) 4 Law Depository
Administrative law 4 Law Depository
Criminal justice 4 Law Depository
Judicial administration 4 Law Depository
Legislative process 4 Law Depository
Social issue and welfare 3 Law Depository
Taxation 3 Law Depository
Women 3 Law Depository


* Levels represent the Documents Division of the Law Library only. For federal agencies, the levels are based on the List of Classes of United States Government Publications Available for Selection by Depository Libraries (rev. Sept. 1984). Levels do not necessarily mirror the descriptions of collection levels in the Introduction because documents are always a subset of the published material on an agency or a subject. Level I means that only annual reports, administrative decisions, and perhaps a few other serial titles are collected.

** Assignments do not involve any funds and represent the Law Depository programs only.

(Many other subjects are collected on an ad hoc basis)

Version Date: November 2005