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A New Look for the Legal Blawg Archive

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The following is a guest post by Matthew Braun, Senior Legal Research Specialist at the Law Library of Congress.  Matt has posted to the blog previously: most recently Taking the Reference Desk on the Road and Orphan Works and Fair Use in a Digital Age.

For more than six years, the Law Library of Congress has been collecting images of select legal blogs on a monthly basis.  The Legal Blawg Archive was created so that the legal events detailed and analyzed in the blogs of today can be studied for years to come. Now this archive is available in an updated user interface making the collection more attractive and engaging.

This updated interface is part of a larger Library of Congress update, explained by Abbie Grotke in her June 21 entry on the Library’s The Signal: Digital Preservation blog, to the Library’s various web archive collections.

Among the features in the Legal Blawg Archive’s updated interface are (1) thumbnail images for each of the archived blogs, which are embedded into both the results list and the individual item records; (2) faceted search options on the left-hand side of the results list, which allow search results to be narrowed by the year of the web capture, the specific legal subject of the blog, and the state/country/continent of origin for the blog; and (3) individual item records that include all web captures for blogs that have had changes in their URLs.

Additionally, upon clicking on the thumbnail image in the individual item record, the actual web capture will appear.  The date of the capture may be adjusted by using the pull-down menu just above the capture, or by using the “calendar view” to the left of the pull-down menu to access a graphical arrangement of web captures by year, month, and day.

The individual item records, at the right-hand side, also have thumbnail images of blogs related to the blog described in the record. For instance, there is a box to the right of the item record for The Trademark Blog labeled “More archived web sites like this,” which displays thumbnail images for related blogs such as the 43(B)log and the Sports Law Blog.

This update of the Legal Blawg Archive is part of a “soft launch,” which means that improvements will continued to be made to the interface in the coming weeks, and the “old” Legal Blawg Archive interface will remain active for the time being. As always, we welcome your feedback on this and all other Law Library web products.

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