Monday, September 26, 2011

New Exhibit in the Rare Book Room: Golden Age of Legal Publishing in Massachusetts

This new exhibit is up for viewing in the Rare Book Room, and a digital edition is also available for those unable to visit the physical exhibit or for anyone interested in more information on the featured works.

Massachusetts was an extremely important legal publishing center in the 19th century, when American law book publishing was taking off. Prior to and right after the American Revolution, virtually the only law books being published in the colonies were statutory compilations and reprints of English and continental legal texts. However, by the beginning of the 1800s, a “home-grown” canon of American legal literature began to emerge.

“The Golden Age of Legal Publishing in Massachusetts” traces this progression in Massachusetts legal publishing, beginning with a 1648 statutory compilation and ending with Christopher Columbus Langdell’s famous A Selection of Cases on the Law of Contracts, which revolutionized teaching at American law schools. Beautiful first editions of Joseph Story's works and Simon Greenleaf's Treatise on the Law of Evidence are among the featured items.

Educational Technology Specialist Chester Kozikowski helped integrate QR codes into the exhibit. This addition blends old and new and allows those touring the exhibit with a smart phone to easily access additional content about the exhibit—audio clips, links to related websites, and a link to the digital edition of the exhibit, which is also available from the exhibit’s webpage.

The exhibit will be open for viewing into Spring 2012.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Research beyond keywords

The Law Librarian blog has an excellent series of posts analyzing WestSearch, the search engine behind WestlawNext. Joe Hodnicki offers a detailed view of WestSearch and describes its development. His statements build on Ron Wheeler's article, Does WestlawNext Really Change Everything? published in Law Library Journal this year. After working through a constitutional law research question using WestlawNext with our Advanced Legal Research class this week, I can agree with Ron's point that crowdsourcing has a distinct impact on results. What's your response to Joe's analysis and comments? Let us hear from you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

GAO releases progress report on DHS

Yesterday, the United States Government Accountability Office released its progress report on the Department of Homeland Security. The report coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks which led to the formation of the Department of Homeland Security. The report assesses DHS's progress in implementing its national security mission and describes the goals remaining to be accomplished. The title to this blog entry links to GAO's summary which in turn links to a pdf of the full report.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Upcoming Law Library Tours

Interested in learning your way around the library and finding out what is available in our collection? Join the reference librarians for tours of the library at the follow times. Tours will begin at the entrance of the library.

  • Wed., 9/7 at 1:00pm
  • Thurs., 9/8 at 9:00am
  • Thurs., 9/8 at 12:30pm
  • Fri., 9/9 at 12:00 noon