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.
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