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Six photos of the team working on this project.
Top left to right: Laura Carter, Allie Crout, Brenda Esparza. Bottom left to right: Amy Glen, Madison Russell, and Samantha Warriner. Photos by themselves.

Spring 2023 Project: Statutes at Large Aids

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The Statutes at Large has been an ongoing project with the Law Library of Congress, in fact, it was one of my first projects when joining the Law Library nearly ten years ago! The Statutes at Large made its debut on our website in 2014 and increased every year in scope until we had years 1789-1950 covered on our website. Initially just a large PDF, we worked to add downloadable individual titles for each Congress. Unfortunately with our migration to the new website, much of this work was lost, but it has been at the top of our list to bring this functionality back.

We began the process in the summer of 2022 when Olivia Kane-Cruz piloted this project as a proof of concept while working as a remote-directed fieldwork student. She completed the first 15 Congresses to much excitement, and we realized we had to continue this project even though it required an overwhelming amount of coding. Fortunately, Olivia became our Librarian-in-Residence and is now leading a group of six interns and volunteers to tackle this project. In just a few short months, we have been able to reach Congress 31, with more on the way!

To create these navigation aids for this digital collection, the HTML coding needs a chapter index with the number, title, and date for each Congress. In addition, each chapter needs a hyperlink to the exact location of each chapter within a PDF. Each Congress can have thousands of statutes, meaning thousands of lines of coding in each Congress and/or volume. This semester’s progress has already been a success and we hope to continue it in future semesters until we finish the collection!

A page description of the Acts of Congress navigation aid available at the Statutes at Large website.
The navigation aid “Acts of Congress” under the United States Statutes at Large collection. Click on the + to view the individual statute titles, dates, and links.

Here are the six interns/volunteers working on this project:

Laura Carter is Missouri-born, North Carolina-raised, and now lives in South Carolina. She is currently in the Ph.D. program for library and information science at the University of South Carolina. She holds an M.L.I.S. from the University of South Carolina and a B.S.B.A. in marketing from East Carolina University. Besides the internship, Laura works as a project manager in the Digital Collections Department at the University of South Carolina. In her free time, Laura loves reading cozy mysteries, trying new recipes, and is currently learning Farsi with her Ph.D. cohort.

Allie Crout is a South Carolina native who holds a B.A. in history from Newberry College, a small liberal arts college in South Carolina, then obtained an M.L.I.S. from the University of South Carolina, where she worked at the South Caroliniana Library. She is currently completing her M.Phil in public history and cultural heritage from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. She has worked at several public libraries and college archives throughout South Carolina as well as currently interning at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Allie enjoys reading the latest novels, traveling to as many historical sites as possible, and spending time with her two dogs and family. 

Brenda Esparza recently completed an M.L.I.S. degree from the University of Arizona with an emphasis on digital preservation and metadata. Currently, she works for her public library system in Phoenix, Arizona, as an outreach specialist and as an adjunct librarian for her local community college. Her professional interests include community outreach, information organization, and digital collections. When not working, she enjoys tending to her house plants, hiking, and cooking tasty plant-based cuisines.

Amy Glen is a self-professed super history nerd from Virginia. She holds both a B.A. in English and history and an M.A. in applied history from George Mason University. Amy enjoys helping others with historical research and working towards her goal to make history interesting and accessible to all. When Amy is not researching and writing about history, she enjoys visiting historic sites and museums, reading and collecting old books, and playing with her two wild Westies.

Madison Russell was born and raised in Texas. She has a B.M. in jazz studies, an M.S. in interdisciplinary studies (interactive and virtual digital communication), and will have an M.S. in library science as of spring 2023 from the University of North Texas. As a composer, musician, and recording artist, Madison explores introspection, empathy, and the complexity of the human experience. She writes and performs alternative, jazz, and rock music as an artist and in various bands. She is dedicated to dismantling oppressive structures and striving for inclusivity and accessibility in music and information services. Her additional interests include reading, fashion, and design.

Samantha Warriner is California born and bred and has recently completed her M.L.I.S. studies at San José State University. Her focus was on digital literacy and programming, and paired with her theater and English undergrad degrees, she hopes to create educational and enjoyable experiences for all.  She currently works in the children’s department at a public library and loves learning new skills, like those via this remote metadata internship. In her spare time she helps organize fan conventions, as well as going on food adventures with friends.

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