Preservation Week

 

 

University of Michigan Law Library. Disaster Recovery Manual

In 2008 the Preservation Committee at the University of Michigan Law Library selected a School of Information Intern to work with the committee to prepare a manual that would quickly provide necessary information in case we were hit with a disaster. In 2012 the Committee took on the task of updating the manual and now plan on every other year updates, to be sure the information on hand is current. Because the manual is designed to fit into a notebook with tabs designating each section, the paging is not continuous.

Bobbie Snow

University of Arizona Law College Publications (WEB SITE)

Last year the Cracchiolo Law Library at the University of Arizona’s Rogers College of Law established a digital projects initiative to provide online access to content from the Law Library’s Special Collections. The focus was on Law College publications (such as alumni magazines and course catalogs) and Arizona pre-statehood materials (including territorial session laws and legislative journals, among others).

Many of the Law College’s own development publications, while widely distributed when first printed, are now available only through the library’s Special Collections; and although some of the Arizona pre-statehood materials can be found in subscription databases, most are not freely available to the public. By making these materials available online, the Law Library hopes to encourage use of Special Collections resources while preserving the physical items.

Since July of 2011, UA Law Library staff have digitized approximately 24,000 pages in-house (using an Atiz DIY Scanner and image processing software), spanning 71 magazines, 39 newspapers, and 51 volumes. Of this, nearly half (12,000 pages) is currently available to the public on the library website. The Law Library’s most recent efforts involve digitizing Law College newspapers issued between 1966 and 1993, some of which are in poor condition, and transferring material to a digital repository to facilitate search and access.
Mike Chiorazzi

U.S. Court of International Trade Recordings

The U.S. Court of International Trade possesses a collection of VHS tapes that records events in the life of the Court and its judges. The recordings began in the 1980s and continue to the present time, and include oral interviews, investitures of new judges, and various special sessions. There is a wide variation in their quality and condition; and when they were entrusted to the Archives, a subsection of the Library, the question of long-term preservation came up. We decided that an appropriate answer was to make digital copies of these tapes. This was accomplished over a period of months, using equipment that was already available to us, a Toshiba DVD/VCR Player that was capable of copying the VHS tapes onto DVD-R disks.

A problem we encountered was the lack of a universal standard for DVD recordings. We found that unless the copies were “finalized” in the proper way, they could not be played by any machine other than the original model, and even with finalization, there were problems with certain software applications, such as Windows Media Player. Nevertheless, the completion of this project gives us the certainty that the quality of these recordings has been preserved from further deterioration. Also, by making the transition to a digital format, we are in a better position to adapt to any future standards when this becomes necessary.

(The recordings are not currently available to the public.)
Written by Frederick M. Frankel; submitted by Dan Campbell

University of Cincinnati: Papers of William J. Butler and of Judge Nathaniel R. Jones (WEB SITE)

The University of Cincinnati College of Law Robert S. Marx Law Library Archives hold the historical records of the law school’s prestigious past. The collection includes materials relating to the Hon. William Howard Taft, the history of the Cincinnati Law School, and photographs that document the alumni, faculty, and notable figures who have contributed to the intellectual growth of the Law School. In addition to these materials, student composites, announcements, and scrapbooks continue to provide a valuable glimpse into the past for the administration and the Cincinnati legal community. Furthermore, the Archives host the Papers of William J. Butler, Judge Nathaniel R. Jones, and the Ohio Merit Plan, which contains records relating to the efforts to change the judicial article of the Ohio constitution.

In October of 2011 the Papers of William J. Butler were completed and presented to the public via an online finding aid which documents his contributions as a human rights advocate. The collection contains speeches, letters, congressional testimony and other personal and professional writings. The collection consists of 32 boxes of materials as well as 12 CD’s featuring audio recordings of Mr. Butler arguing landmark cases such as Engle v. Vitale. Excitingly, the completion of this project allowed the library the opportunity to digitize audio-visual materials from previous formats to ensure their sustainability. The core of the collection, materials from The American Association for the International Commission of Jurists (AAICJ) Foreign Policy Colloquiums, are listed and preserved in their entirety from 1978 to 2010.

Currently, The Papers of Judge Nathaniel R. Jones are in the secondary preservation phase of being recorded in an EAD Finding Aid via OhioLink. Judge Jones’ career as a civil rights advocate and prominent Cincinnati attorney make this project an exciting venture for the library to archive and document. The collection contains roughly two hundred boxes of archival material, i.e., photographs, monographs, legal and personal writings. The anticipated completion date is December 2012. Concurrently, the Ohio Merit Plan Papers have recently received updated material which are being chronologically organized and will be made available to the public later this year. In order to better preserve our past, an ongoing effort to digitize photographs and scrapbooks that tell the story of the Cincinnati Law School and the University of Cincinnati College of Law is presently in the primary preservation stage. That is to say, the scanning, preserving, boxing and when needed, cleaning of the materials is allowing the library to organize a digital history that will stunningly display the history and heritage of the nation’s fourth oldest law school.
Written by Lisa Britt-Wernke; submitted by Ken Hirsh

Arizona State Library and Archives’ Election Publicity Pamphlets (WEB SITE)

The Arizona State Library and Archives’ project of digitizing the publicity pamphlets for our state’s elections shows the legal choices our Arizona citizens have faced in the past century. The publicity pamphlets contain proposed amendments to the state constitution and touch on subjects from Prohibition to a food tax.

We’re very pleased to have these pamphlets online and readable at home, work or school in our Arizona Memory Project. The pamphlets are online as part of the Arizona State Publications collection. They join other interesting and historical government works in that collection such as all extant Arizona Attorney General opinions, governors’ Executive Orders, and legislative study committee reports with in-depth political analysis. Prior to these pamphlels being online, patrons would have to ask for them to be brought up from our closed state document stacks, or wait while we would hunt for selected issues behind the Law Collection desk. Then, we would hope that the originals didn’t wander off. Access to them would occur only if patrons learned of their existence and asked to see them. Having them now visible and accessible for people worldwide to view them and learn our history is a much better option. It’s also fitting that these pamphlets from the Arizona Secretary of State were a priority this year, as the Arizona State Library is now a part of that office.
Betsy Lazan-Young

University of Georgia Digitizes Historic Georgia Codes (WEB SITE)

It’s a short story but one we think will have a long-term impact. Our preservation success story is the completion of a long dreamed of digitization of historic Georgia codes. Working with LYRASIS and their Mass Digitization Collaborative, the Law Library has made available to the public the digests, compilations, and codes beginning with the 1799 Watkins’ Digest of Statutes to the 1933 Code of Georgia. Patrons, in person, on the phone, or by email, are delighted when shown these high quality scans in multiple formats. The entire collection is available at the Internet Archive with links from our research guide, State Law Resources, and the Digital Library of Georgia.
Sharon Bradley

Maryland State Law Library Digital Collections (WEB SITE)

While the Maryland State Law Library has been quite active in the preservation of web-born digital state publications through the Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group, it has also been actively preserving older state publications through an ongoing scanning project. Several years ago, the Maryland State Law Library embarked on a program to digitize those printed Maryland materials that are both unique to the Library and frequently used by legal researchers. In order to provide Library users with a state-of-the-art online document repository, the Library launched its Digital Collections database in November 2008, using the PTFS Archivalware platform. The repository now contains over 2000 items, which include Maryland Rules Committee meeting minutes, legislative task force and commission reports and Judicial Conference Proceedings. Some of these publications are vitally important to understanding legal intent as well as legislative history. The Library is the only source for these materials digitally and in many cases, the only source at all.

The Maryland Rules Committee is responsible for the regulation of the practice and procedure of the Maryland courts. Since 1947, the Committee has met regularly to discuss amendments and changes to the Maryland Rules. Meeting minutes, in which these actions are discussed, are officially approved by the Committee for publication. In addition to over 60 years of minutes, meeting agendas are also available online, starting in 1997.

Governmental task forces and commissions play a significant role in legislative developments in Maryland. These entities are formed via the Legislature, the Governor or another state agency to focus on a specific question of public concern. They research the issues involved and then write a report outlining findings and recommendations. Many of these reports are the basis of future legislation. The Library’s collection of these reports date to the early 1900’s.

The Maryland Judicial Conference was established in 1947 to serve as “a permanent organization of the judges of the State.” Chaired by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the Conference meets annually to discuss matters of interest to the Judiciary. Printed from 1947 to 1997, the Proceedings contain transcripts of the general business meetings conducted during the conference. Later issues also include summaries of professional development courses, committee updates, reviews of rules changes and resolutions. The Proceedings provide helpful historical insight into the operation of the Judiciary during the 20th Century.

The Maryland State Law Library plans to continue this digitization project, ensuring both access to and preservation of these important materials.
Steve Anderson

Osgoode Hall Law Library: Ontario Law Reform Commission Reports (WEB SITE)

The Ontario Law Reform Commission (OLRC) was established in 1967 to investigate aspects of the law or the administration of justice in the Province of Ontario and to make proposals for its reform. Though the Commission was shut down in 1996, it was very active, having published 88 reports on various aspects of the law in just 30 years. The OLRC’s reports were widely regarded and studied throughout the Commonwealth and especially at home in Canada, where they have had a profound impact on the development of the law in many areas. They continue to play an important role in legislative history and the interpretation of the law in Ontario. Though the Commission’s reports enjoyed broad distribution when they were published, the reports are all long out of print and have disappeared from many law firm collections — though lawyers throughout the province continue to need to consult them.

In 2007, the Province of Ontario established a new Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) as a successor to the original OLRC, with the added mandate to improve access to justice in Ontario. The LCO has its offices at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, which also hosts an LCO Scholar in Residence program. As a project to celebrate our move into the new Law School building in the fall of 2011, the Law Commission approached the Osgoode Library to digitize the reports of the original Ontario Law Reform Commission 1967-1996, a project we gladly took on, viewing “access to legal information” as an integral part of the LCO’s mandate to improve “access to justice”. At the same time, the LCO presented our library with a complete set of the reports assembled by the founding Chair of the OLRC, John McCamus (also a past Dean of Osgoode).

The print reports became a wonderful addition to the Osgoode Library’s Balfour Halévy Special Collections in our new Canada Law Book Rare Book Room. The texts of the reports are now freely available on the Internet Archive and on the Open Library while we finalize special access pages from the websites of both the Osgoode Library and the Law Commission of Ontario.
Louis Mirando

Georgetown Law Library: Historic State Codes (WEB SITE)

For approximately 10 years (ending in 2007), the Georgetown Law Library carried out a project to reprint the state codes that were originally printed between 1840 and 1930, for all fifty states and the District of Columbia. The intent was to create a complete collection of preservation copies. We had a large collection of old state codes to begin with, and some other libraries gave us their volumes so that they could be included in the project (and reprinted for them, as well). The work was initially done by BookLab, Inc., in Austin, TX, which closed in 1998. The project was moved to Acme Bookbinding in Charlestown, MA where the codes were digitally imaged and printed on permanent paper and then bound to meet Library Binding Institute standards.

Because Acme stored the images, preservation facsimiles can be printed for other libraries at any time, without having to re-scan an original. The titles completed in this project are available for purchase from Acme Bookbinding. In addition, Georgetown cataloged all the titles, so cataloging records are available on OCLC. A list of the titles that we did can be found at the library’s web site (for completeness, if you don’t see a title on this page, you should also search for it in our library catalog, GULLiver.

Due to fluctuations in budget support and staffing, and changing priorities, the project never moved into a second phase, during which we would have sought out additional copies of volumes not already in our collection. A significant preservation effort by Georgetown in recent years is the harvesting of legal information found on the Web and the preservation of this information through the work of the Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group.
Janice Snyder Anderson

Reported in 2011

Creighton’s Nebraska Briefs Digitization Project (WEB SITE)

The Creighton University School of Law Library embarked on its first large-scale digitization project last fall. Library staff had been entering metadata for the Library’s Nebraska Supreme Court and Nebraska Court of Appeals briefs collection for several years into a locally created database so it would be searchable on the library’s website. It was hoped that sometime down the road the Library would be able to add the documents themselves. Then, in the spring of 2010, the Creighton libraries implemented DSpace for their institutional repository, which made it possible to also add the PDF files of the briefs themselves.

To prepare for the project, three staff members attended DSpace training and worked with the repository’s system administrator to create a customized data entry template and search capabilities for the collection. This took several months as this type of collection is very different from the scholarly types of works that are normally contained in an institutional repository. Once this was completed, the system administrator was able to import the metadata from the previous database into DSpace, which was an enormous timesaver. Student workers started scanning the briefs collection last fall using the Library’s photocopiers that had scanning capabilities. The students also ran OCR software to make the documents searchable. One staff member was the project manager and oversaw the student workers. She also created the metadata and uploaded the PDF files into DSpace.

The collection went live in January of 2011. There are currently 3725 briefs available in the collection going back to 2006. Since January, the collection has been viewed from around the country and the world including the Ukraine, Russian Federation, Netherlands, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, China, and Japan. Additionally, there are around 6200 metadata records for the collection going back to 1983. For records that do not have a brief attached to them yet, there is a generic PDF document directing the viewer to the reference desk for more information.

Several more years of work are planned for the project. The main focus will be to continue scanning the most recent briefs and working backwards from 2006. Another aspect of the project will be to bind the briefs collection, which is only bound into 1985. This has actually been a plus, as it is much easier to scan the briefs from loose pages. Once the older briefs are scanned, they will be sent to the bindery. When all of the unbound briefs have been scanned and loaded into the repository, we will explore the options for scanning the bound collection.

This project will be very beneficial to the Nebraska legal community. The Nebraska briefs are only available in three libraries (Creighton University Law Library, University of Nebraska Schmid Law Library, and the Nebraska State Library) or electronically in Westlaw. Now everyone can have free access to the collection at their fingertips.
Corinne Jacox and Andrea Cotton, Creighton University School of Law Library.

The State Law Library of Montana’s Indian Law Portal (WEB SITE)

The Montana Indian Law website was originally proposed to Judy Meadows, State Law Librarian, by Denise Juneau, who at the time was director of the Office of Public Instruction’s Indian Education Division. Identifying and acquiring Montana’s tribal legal documents had always been a challenge for the State Law Library, and being offered funding to do this and mount the information on a website provided the resources and momentum needed. A steering committee was appointed that included Meadows and Juneau, as well as representatives from the Governor’s office, the Indian Law Resource Center, the Montana School of Law, the Office of Public Instruction, the Montana Historical Society, and the Department of Administration’s Information Technology Services Division. The Committee agreed on the required elements for the Portal, the necessity of cataloging the documents and permanently preserving the legal heritage of the tribes, and the desired qualifications of the project manager.

Following an RFP process, Daniel D. Belcourt was hired as the project manager. During the length of the contract his biggest challenge was getting letters of understanding signed with each of the tribes, so that documents would continue to be added to the website as they were developed. The information that was already in digital form was harvested from trusted sites and captured for permanent public access and preservation. Other documents were digitized in situ, to demonstrate the project’s respect for the ownership of the information.

After the documents (such as tribal court opinions, constitutions, water rights compacts, gaming compacts, fish and game regulations, and codes) were delivered to the law library, a contract was signed with the Information Technology Services Division to design the portal. While this work was being undertaken, law library staff began cataloging the documents, using Dublin Core standards and putting the information into OCLC’s CONTENTdm® for worldwide access at any library computer, as well as through the Montana Memory Project. The latter allows researchers to access legal information about a Montana Tribe at the same time as they are searching for water rights or maps digitized by the University of Montana. Ultimately all the documents will be sent to the OCLC Digital Archive for long term preservation.

The librarians at the Montana State Law Library strongly felt that in addition to being able to search for and find the information through library catalogs and the Montana Memory Project, a robust and interactive website would assist researchers in discovering the state’s tribal legal heritage. The Montana Indian Law Portal was developed for Montana’s Indian Nations, for the citizens of the state, and for educators and students.
Judy Meadows

Cornell Law Library’s Trials Pamphlet Collection (ARTICLE)

Most of Cornell’s historical trials collection was digitized in partnership with William S. Hein & Co. But there were a few trials that were too fragile to scan and that needed to be disbound and preserved. A recent grant of $155,700 from the Save America’s Treasures program will allow the pamphlets to be restored and preserved in print, and each pamphlet also will be digitized and indexed online. All conservation and digitization work will be done in-house, beginning in July 2011. This is Cornell’s third Save America’s Treasures award. These grants, organized through the National Park Service, fund projects that protect American cultural heritage.
Claire Germain

Law Library of Louisiana Reprints

For the past four years I [Library Director Georgia Chadwick] have been working with the Scott Fiddler at the Hein Company to have books and pamphlets reprinted for our library. I have used Hein because I know the people I work with personally and they are reliable and very careful.

Some of the items are in our collection already and come to my attention when a patron has difficulty using them because they are brittle. The other items are ones we don’t own but borrow from another library with permission to have it scanned and reprinted for us by the Hein Company. We have identified various titles when we are doing historical research and decide we would like to add a book or pamphlet to our collection. One advantage of a reprint is that margins can be made larger and the problem of damaging the spine of a book while making photocopies is reduced.

A few examples:
Louisiana Civil Code of 1825. A local attorney used this for a law review article and he called me to apologize that the spine was broken after he used it. This was not a surprise because the book has 1348 pages and has a 4-inch spine. Of course the text of the Louisiana Civil Code of 1825 is available in the compiled civil codes volumes in our set of West’s Statutes for Louisiana but our reprint of the original code allows our patrons to use our new book with no concerns for damaging the book on a photocopy machine.

Teatro de la Legislation Universal de Espana E Indias by Don Antonio Xavier Perez Y Lopez is a 28 volume encyclopedia of Spanish law published from 1791-1798. It was sitting flaking on the shelf, untouched for many years. About a year ago a professor in Scotland asked me to copy a few pages from the first volume which is an index. I searched over and over and it was apparent that volume one was gone. The Hein Company found a very generous library who allowed their volume one to be scanned and then they produced a replacement volume for us. Then we had the rest of our set rebound in leather as the paper was in fabulous shape. I asked a staff member to find a case citing the Teatro and she found a very interesting case in our court where even after we had the Civil Code of 1825 in place it was necessary for the court to cite to the Teatro and other Spanish law as controlling law in the case.

Club Men of Louisiana in Caricature. This is quite rare in Louisiana and we had used it at the New Orleans Public Library as some important Louisiana legal figures and judges are included. The Public Library’s copy is very fragile. We were able to borrow a copy from another library and they allowed Hein to scan it for us. We now have a very useable copy. We could probably buy an original at some time but the paper would be brittle.

Civil Law of Spain and Mexico by Gustavus Schmidt. I asked Hein to reprint this for us and to add it to HeinOnline to make it available to a broader audience. It has an excellent essay – “Historical Outline of the Laws of Spain” at the beginning. Hein helped me have a t-shirt produced to distribute to interested scholars around the world. The shirts have been sent to Mexico, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, and even to the wilds of Baton Rouge, LA.

Louisiana Acts. Although our library has a complete set of Hein microfiche of Louisiana Acts we have only one print copy of some of the earliest volumes. Hein has made us copies of our Territorial Acts from 1804 to 1811. Again, the new print copies have wide margins to allow for photocopying. Hein is now working on 1812- 1834. This has been a bit slow because some of our copies are missing pages or have other issues which make them unsatisfactory for scanning. Hein is working with us to find the missing pages.

Acts from the other 50 states. Our library was founded in 1838 and has an old and fairly complete collection of session laws from other states. We have made these available to the Hein Company for their session law project for HeinOnline.

My goal is to have Louisiana’s oldest House and Senate legislative journals reprinted. This is not an easy goal as these are as rare as hen’s teeth. However, like our old acts volumes – I can’t put them down once I open one – there is so much history to read!
submitted by Georgia Chadwick, Law Library of Louisiana

The Brevier Legislative Reports at the Indiana University-Bloomington Law Library (WEB SITE)

The Brevier Legislative Reports were published biennially from 1858 to 1887 and are a verbatim report of the legislative history of the Indiana General Assembly during those years. The volumes also include veto statements and other messages from the Governor. These are a unique set of documents because there is no other detailed and comprehensive record of the debates and speeches from the floor of the Indiana Senate chamber and the Hall of the House of Representatives for this time period. The volumes also contain a record of each bill introduced in the House and Senate, and on a broader scale they are rich with detailed firsthand accounts that reflect the conditions of the times and aid in the understanding of the issues present in Indiana in the mid to late nineteenth century.

Mike Maben of IU-Bloomington teamed up with the IU Digital Library Program to digitize the Brevier Legislative Reports. There were 19 physical volumes with a total of nearly 8,000 pages. The volumes were scanned and OCR was run on the text. Then they encoded the text using the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). A basic set with keyword searching is available on the IU website, and more expansive website with more searching choices is in development.

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