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National Library Week: Support Your Local Librarian

In April in Washington, D.C., residents and workers enjoy the coming of spring, cherry blossoms, Poetry Month and National Library Week. This week is a good time to reflect on the value that libraries provide to everyone, and to find a way to show love for our libraries. Here at the Law Library, we are still working every day to provide new or improved access to collections in a digital format and to acquire, organize, and house our collection to serve our users.

This photo depicts the Library of Congress Jefferson Building in the background with a tree in the foreground.

        Jefferson Building from Independence Avenue, April 2021 [photo by J. Davis and R. Raupach]

If during this week of library celebration, you are looking for notable librarians to study (famous librarians are infrequent), here are a handful to motivate any bibliophile, researcher or colleague. All are librarians who worked to serve their particular communities, but are possibly less well known:

John T. Vance, 13th Law Librarian of Congress, established the Law Library’s reputation as a foreign law research center.

Henrietta Avram, MARC developer at the Library of Congress.

Darcy McNickle (Salish Kootenai), anthropologist, library founder, and Indigenous rights activist.

Alma Smith Jacobs, Montana State Librarian and civil rights activist.

Sanford Berman, head cataloger at Hennepin County Library, Minnesota and activist.

Tsuen-hsuin Tsien, librarian, professor of Chinese studies and library science, rare Chinese book acquisitions librarian and cataloger of rare Chinese books.

Lotsee Patterson (Comanche), librarian, founding member of AILA.

Adelaide R.Hasse, government documents librarian, developer of government documents classification system.

Arna Bontemps, Harlem Renaissance poet and Fisk University librarian.

Frederick Goff, Library of Congress Rare Book Chief and incunabula specialist.

Pura Belpre, first Puerto Rican Librarian in NYC, children’s book author.


Join Us to Celebrate Law Day on April 29th

The Law Library of Congress and the American Bar Association will present the Law Day 2021 program, “Advancing the Rule of Law Now: A Global Perspective,” on April 29th at 3:30 p.m. EDT. This event will be presented as a free, streaming program. Please click here to register. Law Day is a national day set aside to celebrate […]

Talbot County Courthouse – Pic of the Week

I recently visited the town of Easton, Maryland, on a day trip. Here, situated on a quintessential main street, the Talbot County courthouse offers visitors a place to sit and take in the beautiful courtyard, as well as some rich history. Today, the courthouse, originally built in 1794, not only houses the chambers and courtrooms […]

Join Us for our Upcoming Webinar: “Brazilian Criminal Procedure Law: Is a Criminal Conviction Really Enforceable?”

Join us on Thursday, April 22, at 2:00PM EDT for a new Foreign and Comparative Law Webinar, Brazilian Criminal Procedure Law: Is a Criminal Conviction Really Enforceable? Criminal prosecution in Brazil has always been the subject of great controversy. Conflicting interpretations of the law by the superior tribunals in recent high profile cases have disrupted […]

Celebrating the Life of Deputy Librarian for Library Collections and Services and Law Librarian of Congress Jane Sánchez

Deputy Librarian for Library Collections and Services and 25th Law Librarian of Congress Jane Sánchez has passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. Jane is survived by her husband, Christopher Freitas, and her three children, Adam, Alyson, and Andrew. She will be dearly missed by her family, friends, and colleagues. Librarian of Congress Dr. […]

New Acquisition: Legal Document Signed by Mary Coffin Starbuck of Nantucket and Wunnatuckquannum

Since March is Women’s History Month, we thought it would be a good time to announce that the Law Library has recently acquired a legal document signed by Mary Coffin Starbuck and the Wampanoag Sachem, Wunnatuckquannum. The Law Library’s rare books collection is in principle a collection of printed books, but we also have the […]

From the Serial Set: Visualizing Yellowstone

Every so often, our team comes across a Serial Set volume that contains photographs, maps, or plates. These visuals preserve moments in time, and in cases of geographical surveys, the early impressions of a landscape. In 1871, geologist Ferdinand V. Hayden led the first of his federally-funded explorations into the Wyoming territory that would later […]

FALQs: The Controversy Over Marriage and Anti-Conversion Laws in India

The following is a guest post by Tariq Ahmad, a foreign law specialist in the Global Legal Research Directorate of the Law Library of Congress. He has previously contributed posts on Islamic Law in Pakistan – Global Legal Collection Highlights, the Law Library’s 2013 Panel Discussion on Islamic Law, Sedition Law in India, and FALQ posts on Proposals to Reform Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws, Article 370 […]