Hispanic Heritage Month: Indigenous Law Portal

This is a guest post by Carla Davis-Castro, a research librarian for the Congressional Research Service. She worked on the Indigenous Law Portal from 2015 to 2017.

The Library of Congress launched the Indigenous Law Portal in June 2014 to provide an open-access platform for legal materials on how indigenous peoples govern themselves. Mexico and Central America are home to many of the peoples covered, so we thought National Hispanic Heritage Month would be a good time to call attention to the portal and encourage its use.

The portal features resources from the Law Library of Congress and links to tribal websites and digital primary sources. The resources are organized based on the evolving Library of Congress classification for the Law of Indigenous Peoples, Class KIA-KIX, spanning jurisdictions of the Western Hemisphere. Jolande Goldberg, a law classification specialist in the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate, leads development of the classification and provides content along with Law Library staff, volunteers and interns.

The portal launched with North America (Canada, the United States and Mexico). In 2016, Mexico was updated to include national and regional indigenous advocacy organizations. Central America was added just this summer. General resources are available for the region as well as links to the Central American countries El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. Links to Belize and Costa Rica remain in progress. Each nation has or will have digital resources organized by category: organizations, councils or governments and tribes or communities.

Bio-protocolo de Consulta y Consentimiento Libre, Previo e Informado del pueblo Mayangna Sauni Arungka, territorio Matumbak.

One example of a modern digital resource from Costa Rica is the 2014 publication Bio-protocolo de Consulta y Consentimiento Libre, Previo e Informado del pueblo Mayangna Sauni Arungka, territorio Matumbak (Bio-protocols for the Consultation and Free, Prior and Informed Consent of the Mayangna Sauni Arungka Community, Matumbak Territory). This is an example of a collaborative endeavor between a global organization, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the tribal territorial government of Sauni Arungka Matumbak.

In the future, South America will be added, so check back with the Indigenous Law Portal as the work continues!

For more details about the portal’s development, read this blog post about its launch and the 2017 International Federation of Library Associations papers Legal Pluralism and Highlighting Indigenous Continuity.

New Online: Federal Courts Web Archive

This is a guest post by Andrew Winston, senior legal reference librarian, and Brian Kaviar, a Law Library intern. It was first published on “In Custodia Legis,” the blog of the Law Library.  The Federal Courts Web Archive, recently launched by the Library’s web archiving team and the Law Library, provides retrospective archival coverage of […]

Inquiring Minds: Hunting for Treasure in the Manuscript Division

Ross Davies has been a regular in the Library’s Manuscript Division for about two decades now. He has worked with papers of Supreme Court justices, consulted collections on the federal courts and introduced his students to the Library—a “treasure hunt” he assigns requires them to find resources in the Manuscript Division and the Law Library. […]

Trending: An App to Answer Your Questions about the Constitution

This is a guest post by Margaret M. Wood, legal reference librarian in the Law Library. Two years ago, in honor of Constitution Day—celebrated annually on September 17—I wrote a post about the publication “Constitution of the United States: Analysis and Interpretation,” also referred to as the “Constitution Annotated.” Along with the U.S. Code, it […]

New Online: Presidents, Teachers & More Website Updates

(The following is a guest post by William Kellum, manager in the Library’s Web Services Division.)  Presidential Collections With the next presidential inauguration quickly approaching, we’ve updated a popular presentation from our old American Memory site on U.S. presidential inaugurations: “I Do Solemnly Swear…” A Resource Guide highlights items from the Library’s collections such as […]

Gwen Ifill, a History-Tracker and a HistoryMaker

Those who appreciate high-quality broadcast news were saddened today to learn of the passing of longtime PBS NewsHour co-host and Washington Week moderator Gwen Ifill. The former New York Times, Washington Post and NBC News political, congressional and White House reporter, 61, had been under treatment for cancer. She and her NewsHour co-host Judy Woodruff […]

New Online: Today in History, Hispanic Heritage & Folklife Collections

(The following is a guest post by William Kellum, manager in the Library’s Web Services Division.)  Website Updates Today in History is an online presentation of historic events illustrated by items from the Library’s digital collections. First established in 1997, the site was migrated this month from the American Memory site to a new home […]

World War I: Conscription Laws

(The following is a guest post by Margaret Wood, a legal reference librarian at the Law Library of Congress.) Six weeks after the declaration of war against Germany on April 6, 1917, ch. 1, 40 Stat.1, Congress passed the Selective Service Act. Initially, President Woodrow Wilson and Congress had hoped the needed 1 million men […]

New Online: Website Updates, Presidential Papers, Federal Resources

(The following is a guest post by William Kellum, manager in the Library’s Web Services Division.)  Website Resources New in July is a new, responsive design for the Library’s Online Catalog, one of the most heavily used features of our website. Like other websites, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of users accessing […]

A Hamilton Mixtape, Library of Congress Style

Nominated for a record-setting 16 Tony Awards, “Hamilton” the musical swept the ceremony winning 11, including Best Musical, Best Book, Best Original Score and a handful of best actor/actresses. The show is based on the Ron Chernow biography on founding father Alexander Hamilton, which Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the musical, had picked up on a whim […]