The following is a guest post by Matt Braun, Legal Reference Librarian in our Public Services Directorate.
Over the last five years, legal blogs (or “blawgs” = law + blogs) have increasingly become vehicles for legal scholars, practitioners, and observers from across the globe to share information on developments in various areas of law, as well as opinions as to how good or bad those developments are. Intellectual property law enthusiasts, for instance, routinely follow blawgs such as Patently-O and Blog@IPJUR.com, while those interested in business/corporate law may find The Conglomerate and The Becker-Posner Blog to be must-view websites. There are even blawgs following particular courts, such the ECJBlog for the European Court of Justice and SCOTUSblog for the Supreme Court of the United States; as well as blawgs that track the thoughts of some of the world’s most respected law school professors, such as The Faculty Lounge and The Volokh Conspiracy.
The Law Library of Congress has been working since 2007 to archive monthly entries for blawgs such as these, so that the legal events addressed in the blawgs of today may be studied many years from now. This collection is called the Legal Blawg Archive, and a link to it may be found on the Law Library’s homepage.
The Legal Blawg Archive provides the actual captured images for 130 blawgs across 19 subjects. If you are interested, for instance, in the key developments in mass tort law that occurred in the U.S. during the early part of 2008, you can look at the 2008 archived dates for the Mass Tort Litigation Blog, and see that the March 6, 2008, web capture contains an entry detailing the use of government contractor defense in negligence actions brought by parties such as U.S. military veterans.
We will soon be adding links to the live sites of the blawgs we collect in the Legal Blawg Archive, and the size of the archive will increase to about 200 blawgs during 2011.
If you have any questions or suggestions for the Legal Blawg Archive, please feel free to contact the curator of the collection, Matthew Braun. His email is mbra at loc dot gov.