{ subscribe_url: '/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/law.php' }

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.


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 […]

The Constitution of the Colony of Maryland in Liberia

Last September, Betty came across our copy of Constitution and laws of Maryland in Liberia, which needed full cataloging. We knew then that we wanted to talk about this founding document of one of the older democratic governments in Africa. Liberia’s roots extend back to 1821, when former enslaved persons and free-born Blacks first founded […]

New Acquisition: The Trial of Governor Picton, A Case of Torture in Trinidad

The following is a guest post by Louis Myers, the current Librarian-in-Residence at the Law Library of Congress. Louis has recently authored blog posts for In Custodia Legis, including Research Guides in Focus – Municipal Codes: A Beginner’s Guide and Research Guides in Focus – Neighbor Law: A Beginner’s Guide. This post contains research contributed […]

Our Interns’ Favorite Collection Items from Herencia: Centuries of Spanish Legal Documents

As part of the anniversary celebration of Herencia: Centuries of Spanish Legal Documents, we recruited seven remote interns to transcribe, review, and conduct research on this unique collection of materials from the 15th to 19th centuries. If you want to learn more about this remarkable group of undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals, who are the […]

Stunned By Her Thunder: Fannie Lou Hamer

In August 1962, Fannie Lou Hamer decided to attend a mass meeting run by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Ruleville, Mississippi, at William Chapel Church. Mrs. Hamer said, “They talked about how it was our right to vote. And they was talking about how we could vote out people that we didn’t want […]

New Acquisition: 15th Century Manuscript of Johannes de Imola’s Commentary on the Decretales of Gregory IX

In a recent post on this blog, I announced the acquisition of an interesting 15th century manuscript of a work of canon law that recorded the Canons and Constitutions of the Archdiocese of Zaragoza, Spain. It was an exciting addition to the Law Library’s growing collection of medieval and early modern manuscript books. In this […]

A Recording of the Law Library’s Foreign Legal Gazettes Database Webinar is Now Available

On December 8, 2020, Law Library staff presented a webcast on our new Foreign Legal Gazettes Database. The participants included Kurt Carroll, chief of the Collection Services Division; Elina Lee, metadata technician in the Digital Resources Division; Ken Sigmund, lead technician in the Collection Services Division; and me, Betty Lupinacci, supervisor in the Collection Services […]