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 […]

New Online: A Redesigned Portal for Librarians and Archivists

This is a guest post by Elizabeth Fulford, a librarian in the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access (ABA) Directorate, and Susan Morris, special assistant to the ABA director. The Library of Congress provides many resources to support information professionals worldwide. To streamline access to that content, we’ve redesigned our portal for librarians and archivists. The new […]

Free to Use and Reuse: Adolph Metzner Civil War Drawings

This is a guest post by Julie Stoner, a reference librarian in the Geography and Map Division. It was first published on “Picture This,” the Prints and Photographs Division’s blog. We’re highlighting the subject of Stoner’s post—Civil War drawings by Adolph Metzner—in our “free to use and reuse” feature on the Library’s home page. The […]

New Online: Pre-1958 Chinese Collection

The contents of the Asian Division’s Pre-1958 Chinese Collection, totaling more than 40,000 items, are now fully searchable through the Library’s online catalog in both Chinese characters and Romanized script. This rich and diverse collection has served researchers and general audiences for nearly 90 years; until now, however, bibliographic records for these materials were only […]

A New Website and More: Expanding Our Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

This is a guest post by Karen Keninger, director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). The NLS has a couple years of adventures ahead of it—adventures that sound chiefly technological but are really about meeting our patrons’ needs as reliably, easily and responsibly as possible. Technology is exciting in […]

Free to Use and Reuse: John Margolies Photographs of Roadside America

An earlier version of this post, written by Micah Messenheimer, assistant curator of photography in the Prints and Photographs Division, was published on “Picture This,” the division’s blog. A giant coffee pot that doubles as a restaurant, drive-in movie theaters, old gas pumps and vintage hotels: these are but a few of the examples included […]