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An Interview with Jason Zarin, Legal Reference Librarian

Posted by: Margaret Wood

Today’s interview is with Jason Zarin who joined the Public Services Division of the Law Library of Congress last fall. Due to the pandemic, Jason has been onboarded almost entirely remotely but he was able to spend one day in his office so far. Describe your background. I’m originally from Texas but have lived on …

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Einstein’s Fateful Letter

Posted by: Margaret Wood

Between July 18 and August 15, 1939, one of the most consequential letters in modern history was drafted by Albert Einstein and the Hungarian-born physicist Leo Szilard. The letter, which was eventually delivered to President Franklin Roosevelt,led to the Manhattan Project and the development of the first two atomic weapons. Szilard and two other Hungarian-born physicists, …

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Middlemarch and the Rocky Road to the Reform Act of 1832

Posted by: Margaret Wood

I spent my summer vacation at Dickens Universe on the University of California Santa Cruz campus. In anticipation of the bicentenary of George Eliot’s birth, this year’s book was Middlemarch, rather than the usual novel by Dickens.  I had promised the blog team that I would write a post on Middlemarch after attending this literary fest. …

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150th Anniversary of Yo-Semite Valley Land Grant

Posted by: Margaret Wood

If Memorial Day marked the beginning of summer when I was young, then summer marked the time when the family would visit our local national parks and monuments such as Bandelier and Carlsbad Caverns.  Indeed, summer marks the time when millions of Americans visit state and national parks, forests and monuments.  June 30 of this …

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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month

Posted by: Margaret Wood

Throughout the year, the Library of Congress provides information about a number of commemorative observances.  May is always a busy month with the Asian/Pacific American Heritage and Jewish American Heritage observances while in the Law Library we also observe Law Day.  In June we observe a more recently added commemorative observance for Lesbian Bisexual Gay …

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Murder, Movies and the Law

Posted by: Margaret Wood

We are at it again – working on one of our posts about movies and the law.  This time we are looking at movies which depict murder trials.  Although posts about movies and the law might seem somewhat lighthearted, movies are a powerful cultural force which often reflect society’s attitudes and understanding of various ideas. To …

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An Introduction to Water Law

Posted by: Margaret Wood

Although I grew up in an arid western state, my first real awareness of the complicated rules governing water usage came when I saw the movie The Milagro Beanfield War in 1988.  The action in the movie centers around the accidental and illegal diversion of water by Joe Mondragon, which brings down the wrath of the state government …

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Love and the Law

Posted by: Margaret Wood

Since our post on Christmas Movies and the Law was so successful, we decided to try our hand at a post about movies, love, and the law in celebration of Valentine’s Day.  As with our Christmas post, we found some of our colleagues were cynics, but although they may have a jaundiced eye regarding love they …

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DOMA and LGBT Commemorative Month

Posted by: Margaret Wood

Generally when researchers visit the Law Library Reading Room with questions about marriage laws, I refer them to the relevant state code.  The laws governing the contracting of a marriage or its dissolution are legislated by the state and usually in a chapter of the state code entitled “Domestic Relations.”  However, in certain circumstances, the federal government will enter …