Law Collection - Collections


The collection is maintained by the Law Library.

The Law Collections supports the research, teaching and public service missions of the College of Law and services the legal information needs of other University units. The Law Library, comprised of 720,000 volumes and volume equivalents, is the thirteen largest academic law library in the country and is widely respected as a major research library. Its rare book and foreign law collection are particularly noteworthy.

Version Date: April, 2005


I. Collection Description


Primarily to support the research, teaching and public service missions of the College of Law; to a lesser extent, to supplement the resources of other University units whose disciplines are related to law (e.g., the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations, Western European Studies Center). The program of the College of Law is extremely wide-ranging. In addition to offering the Juris Doctor degree and Master of Law degree to American students, the College also hosts numerous foreign lawyers who obtain Masters in Law or Masters in Comparative Law degrees. Thus, course offerings include not only most conceivable courses on US law but also numerous courses in international, foreign and comparative law. The nature of legal education today is also such that an interdisciplinary approach is the rule in most courses; indeed joint degree programs are offered in law and business, education, and labor and industrial relations. Likewise, many other units on campus offer law-related courses, e.g., business law, sports law, the constitution and civil liberties, etc.

History of Collection:

The Law Library began with the founding of the College of Law in September, 1897. For its first five years, the Library collection consisted of fewer than five hundred volumes. The College and the Library remained in University Hall until 1903, when it moved into what is now Harker Hall (formerly the Chemistry Laboratory). The Library received an increased appropriation for books in that year and has continued to grow. However, a full time Law Librarian was not assigned to the Library until 1923. In 1927, the College and Library were transferred to what was then the Library Building and is now Altgeld Hall. In 1955, the College and Library moved to the current Law Building, which is still the Library’s location today.

Estimate of Holdings:

445,000 volumes.

State, Regional and National Importance:

The Law Library is the twelfth largest law library in the country and is widely respected as a major research library. Its periodical holdings and foreign law collection are particularly well known.

Unit Responsible for Collecting:

Law Library.

Location of Materials:

Law Library. In the near future, however, some materials will be sent to the sixth stack addition.

Citations of Works Describing the Collection:

“Collection Information Series.” Compiled by Law Library Staff (June, 1980). (Unpub.).

Chin, Kim and Frederic Mansfield. “European Communities Official Documents: One Library’s Experience.” Government Publications Review 5 (1978): 13-29.

“Union List of Periodicals Indexed in the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals.” Edited by Richard Surles and Timothy Kearley (Spring, 1984), 143 pp. [Distributed among participating law libraries–the “Big Ten” law libraries plus the University of Chicago; regular hard copy or microform publication is contemplated.]

II. General Collection Guidelines


Standard statement.

Chronological Guidelines:

No restrictions.

Geographical Guidelines:

No area is excluded, but, in regard to foreign jurisdictions, Western Europe, Latin America and the Soviet Union are emphasized over other regions.

Treatment of Subject:

Standard statement. All fields of law are covered. Many other libraries collect legal materials according to their subject interests, including the Architecture, City Planning and Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Communications, Education and Social Science, and Labor and Industrial Relations Libraries.

Types of Materials:

Standard statement.

Date of Publication:

Standard statement.

Place of Publication:

No restrictions.

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.

Law Collection
Accounting 3 Law
Administrative Law 4 Law
Admiralty 3 Law
Aeronautics 3 Law
Atomic energy 4 Law
Biography 3 Law
Business enterprises 4 Law
Civil procedure 4 Law
Commercial law 4 Law
Conflict of laws 4 Law
Constitutional law 4 Law
Contracts 4 Law
Criminal law and procedure 4 Law
Dictionaries 3 Law
Evidence 4 Law
Family law 4 Law
Food, drug, cosmetics 3 Law
Insurance 3 Law
Intellectual and industrial property (copyright and patent law) 4 Law
Judicial administration 4 Law
Jurisprudence 4 Law
Labor law 4 Law
Legal history 3 Law
Legal profession 4 Law
Local government 3 Law
Medical jurisprudence 3 Law
Military law 3 Law
Mining law 3 Law
Oil and gas law 3 Law
Property 4 Law
Regulated industries 4 Law
Social welfare and insurance 4 Law
Taxation 4 Law
Torts 4 Law
Trade regulation 4 Law
Trusts and estates 4 Law
Water law 3 Law
Africa 2 Law
Asia 3 Law
Eastern 3 Law
Western 4 Law
Latin America 3 Law
Scandinavia 2 Law
International trade 2 Law
International relations 2 Law


Version Date: November 2005