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Researching the History of U.S. practice in international law and international relations

If you are interested in researching the history of U.S. practice in international law, or the history of U.S. diplomacy more generally, there are several resources in HeinOnline and in ProQuest Congressional that can help you.

U.S. practice in international law is summarized in three editions of the Digest of International Law of the United States, each known more familiarly by the name of its editor. The first edition, edited by Moore, covers the years 1776-1904. The second edition, edited by Hackworth, covers the years 1905-1940. The third edition, edited by Whiteman, covers the years 1941-1972. These three editions have been updated by Digest of United States Practice in International Law, 1973-1981, and 1989 to present, and by the Cumulative Digest of United States Practice in International Law, which covers the years 1981-1988.

All of these digests are available in HeinOnline’s Foreign & International Law Resources Library, and easy to search. Suppose you wanted to find a discussion of the Halibut Fisheries treaty of 1930. Using the Advanced Search interface, you would simply search for the phrase “halibut fishery” in Hackworth. This search would retrieve a discussion of the treaty, its predecessor and successor treaties, with links to the texts of the treaties themselves.

You can also search for diplomatic correspondence and other documents relating to U.S. international affairs in Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), which is also available in its own library in HeinOnline. Here you could find all diplomatic correspondence related to the 1930 treaty on the “preservation of the halibut fishery of the northern Pacific and Bering Sea.” The trick to using the FRUS database is to realize that dates of coverage are not the same as dates of publication. Thus, to search for documentation from 1930 you would actually date-restrict your search to 1945, the year in which volumes for the year 1930 were published.

FRUS covers the history of U.S. foreign policy from 1861 onward. From 1817-1861, diplomatic correspondence and other documents relating to foreign relations were published in the Serial Set, a massive series best known as the source of Senate and House reports. The Serial Set is fully digitized and readily available electronically through ProQuest Congressional. The Serial Set is not difficult to search in ProQuest Congressional, but there is also a three-volume Index to United States Documents Relating to Foreign Affairs, 1828-1861, which is available in HeinOnline, in Spinelli’s Law Library Reference Shelf. If you were interested in the history of U.S/French trade relations in the nineteenth century, you could search this source for “France trade”~25 (the term ‘France’ within 25 words of the term ‘trade’), which would retrieve 14 items, among them an 1860 message from the president transmitting to Congress a letter from the emperor of France on commerce and free trade. This entry is accompanied by a citation to the Serial Set, 36. 1. H. ex. doc. 30, which you could use to retrieve the full text of the document in ProQuest Congressional.

The digests of U.S. practice of International law, Foreign Relations of the United States, and the Serial Set are the most important sources of information relating to the historic practice of the United States in international law and foreign affairs generally. All three readily available to researchers in HeinOnline and ProQuest Congressional.

Opportunity for Students—32nd Annual Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition

Attention students! The Planning and Law Division of the American Planning Association has announced the 32nd Annual Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition. The Division will be accepting papers that are on the topics of planning, planning law, land use law, local government law, or environmental law. Submissions are due by June 5, 2015, and winners will be announced by August 28, 2015.

The winning paper will be submitted for publication in The Urban Lawyer, and the author will be awarded $2,000. The student who comes in second place will receive $400, and there will be an Honorable Mention prize of $100.

This is a great opportunity to gain some recognition for a seminar paper. Further information is available in the attachment. Good luck and happy writing!


Rules for the APA-PLD Student Writing Competition


Hello from your new Student Services Librarian!

My name is Kim Mattioli, and I just started the New Year off with a new position as the Student Services Librarian here in the law library. I’m likely familiar to many of you since I’ve been working part-time in the library for the past two and a half years in interlibrary loan and at both the circulation and reference desks. I’m thrilled to now be here on a full-time basis! You can find me in Room 105E in the Reference Office.

As you all know, every reference librarian is available to help students in any way possible, so I would like to tell you a little bit about what it means for me to be a librarian dedicated specifically to Student Services. As a starting point, I will be providing support to students who serve on the Indiana Law Journal, the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, IP Theory, and the Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality. Any student working on journal assignments is encouraged to come to my office with any questions, general or specific. In addition, I will be providing support to students who serve as faculty research assistants. This will include coordinating a training session for new or experienced research assistants, as well as helping with specific assignments.

While these are some of my preliminary responsibilities, I sincerely hope that this will only be a starting point. It is my goal to make all of you familiar and comfortable with the library. I hope to develop programming that will make all of you effective researchers, but in addition to that I want to serve as your liaison in the library. I want to know what programs and services you think would be helpful or fun, and to that end I invite anyone to stop by my office or email me with suggestions or requests. Let us know what you like about the library and what could be done differently.

I will be working hard to make sure that you are all getting the most out of our library. In the meantime, you will see me at the reference desk, on our new chat reference service, and on this blog from time to time. I’m looking forward to working with you!

Found in the Stacks: Icons and Aliens

Icons and Aliens: Law, Aesthetics, and Environmental Change by John J. Costonis, University of Illinois, 1989. KF 5692 .C67 1989

Icons and Aliens explores the law of aesthetics. We might not normally think of aesthetics as having its own law, but this book is a reminder that we find legal questions in many places, some of them unexpected. The unusual title refers to the different ways that people can think of landmarks. The Golden Gate Bridge was initially much reviled for being an alien presence in the harbor. Now many years later it has become a celebrated icon of the city.   Costonis examines the legal implications of landmarks, how people react when they are built and when they are torn down.  As aesthetics change, so do our landscapes, and the legal system must respond when these changes cause conflict.  For a look at an unusual way law touches us, check this book out!

Have you found any particularly interesting books lately?  If so, let us know!

Found in the Stacks: Medieval Poor Law

The Law Library is the place law students study, faculty members do research, and laypeople come to learn about the law. We have an excellent collection of the basic legal materials of course, but shelf reading can also lead to little research gems. As we find interesting and unexpected books, we will tell you about them on the BLAWg IN Bloom.

Today: Medieval Poor Law by Brian Tierney, University of California Press, 1959. KBG .54

While there are plenty of areas of law that are relatively new, poverty has always been an issue, and thus laws concerning it are relatively old. Tierney was writing in large part for social workers, but he explores the legal issues as well. At the time, the Church was the primary charitable institution, so Tierney explores the theology behind poor law and the actual mechanics of it. If you are looking for something interesting to take your mind off studying for a few minutes, check out Medieval Poor Law.

Have you found any particularly interesting books lately? If so, let us know!

Scottish Independence Vote Today

Polls opened in Scotland this morning for a vote on the recent Scottish Independence Referendum. Scotland is considering leaving the United Kingdom. The referendum has been in the works since 2011. A key step in the process came with the Edinburgh Agreement of 2012, in which the Scottish Government and the UK Government jointly assented to a referendum on independence to be voted on in 2014. The referendum needs a simple majority to pass, and many news sources are predicting a close vote. If you wish to know more about the referendum, the website of the Scottish Government has a page devoted to the referendum and the potential consequences.

Welcome New Students

Welcome to the new 1L class, and congratulations on starting orientation today! We hope that you have a wonderful law school experience. All of us at the Law Library will do everything that we can to make your time here both rewarding and comfortable. The Library is a place to study, learn, reflect, and prepare. We hope that you will take advantage of our facilities and many services, and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask anyone on the Library staff. We are excited about working with all our new students over the next three years. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! We look forward to seeing you on the Library tours this Friday morning.

Good Luck on the Bar Exam!

After a summer of studying, it’s finally here. Today is the first day of the bar exam.   We’ve seen several of you at the Law Library nearly every day this summer, and we know that you’ve worked hard and are prepared. Don’t panic, remember your notes, and the best of luck to all the test takers!

Election Day

Monroe County Primary Election Day is today, so if you would like to be involved in local politics today is the day to get out and vote.  Not sure when and where?  There are some great resources online to help you. You may want to check the Indiana Voters page from the Indiana government website.  If you are registered to vote in Indiana you simply have to enter your county, name, and birthdate into this website and it will tell you where you polling place is, and who is on your ballot.

You might also take a look at the local paper for your information. The Herald-Times offers sample ballots, race previews, and a map of polling places.  It’s hard to find the time during finals—but get out there and vote!

Don’t Know Much About [the Law Library’s] History

Looking forward to today’s dedication of the Reference Office in honor of Colleen Kristl Pauwels, former Director of the Law Library, I became curious about our Law Library’s history.  After all, the Law School has been around since 1842, so there’s quite a history to be found.  Digging around in our archives, I pieced together a [mostly complete] picture of the Law Library’s history, and thought I’d share my findings.  For instance, did you know our Law Library’s collection has been destroyed twice by fire?  Curious?  Read on!

Law Library 1906The Law School was established in 1842, originally as a law department in the university.  The Law Library began the following year, in 1843, when the Indiana University trustees gave Professor McDonald, the head of the law department, $100 to purchase books for the collection.  At the time, it is believed that the Law Library was housed in the University Library.  That initial collection of books was destroyed by a fire in 1854, which also destroyed the collections in the University and Literary Society Libraries.

As will happen throughout any school’s long history, the Law School has relocated to several different buildings throughout its history, especially in the beginning.  Around 1870 the Law School moved to a building that fronted the courthouse square, and only part of the Law Library moved with it, the rest remaining at the University Library.  Students at the time complained about this split in the collection, because it was so cumbersome to have to travel to the University Library to see the other portion of the Law Library’s collection.  When the Law School closed from 1877-1889 due to lack of funds, the Law Library’s collection returned to the University Library – only to be consumed by yet another fire in 1883!

In 1889, when the Law School re-opened, it moved to Maxwell Hall, and the Law Library was finally housed in the same building as the school.  With the Law Library collection having been destroyed twice by fire, the collection at this time was still relatively small, and mostly consisted of donations; but starting in 1891, the Indiana University trustees began approving funding ($1,500 in 1891) to increase the Law Library collection.  By 1901-02, the Law Library was up to 4,500 volumes, consisting of materials we still commonly rely on today – reporters, legal encyclopedias, etc.  In an effort to further expand the collection, the Law Library’s annual budget was increased from $600 to $1,200 that year as well.

The Law School didn’t remain in Maxwell for long, moving to Kirkwood Hall in 1894 and into Wylie Hall in 1904 or 1905.  During this time, the University Library moved into Maxwell Hall, but by 1907 a Library Building had been constructed, and the University Library was poised to vacate Maxwell again.  It was decided that the Law School would return to Maxwell Hall, and a three-story addition was added to the building to accommodate this move.  The University Library move-out and Law School move-in occurred over the holidays in 1907, but unfortunately they ran out of time and manpower to move the Law Library and its 6,000-volume collection before the start of classes that spring.  The law students at the time did not want to be separated from the books they so frequently relied on in the Law Library, so they volunteered to move the collection themselves!  As a result, 75 law students moved the entire collection in just two hours one Saturday that spring semester.Law Library 1940

From 1908 to 1914 another appeal for Law Library funding helped to significantly increase the collection, such that by 1914 the Law Library saw the need for a full-time staff member to manage the collection.  Samuel Dargan was appointed Curator of the Law Library in 1914, and served in this position until 1948.  Up until this point, the Law Library had always been maintained by a law student.  (Fun fact: one of these law students in charge of the Law Library was none other than Sherman Minton, who went on to become a Supreme Court Justice!) 

In 1925, the collection was up to 14,350 volumes, and the need for an experienced librarian arose.  Rowena Compton was therefore hired as the first Law Librarian at our Law Library, and faced the task of properly cataloging our collection for the first time.  Under her direction the collection grew to over 20,000 volumes by 1930.  When Compton retired in 1930, Mary Jean Ashman assumed leadership of the Law Library; for the first time, the Law Librarian position also included responsibilities as Instructor for Legal Bibliography.  During her tenure, the Law Library increased in space, when the Law School Administration moved to another building; Ashman used this increased space to enlarge the reading room and add more tables and chairs to double the seating capacity.

It is at this point, in the 1930s, that my research faltered a bit.  Most resources I used to create this blog post provided historical coverage only, ending in the 1930s.  Mary Jean Ashman retired in 1949, and Betty V. LeBus became Director of the Law Library, serving in this role from 1950-1978.  Looking at an ABA Site Re-Inspection report from 1977, it seems that the Law Library’s reputation wavered between 1950 and 1980, due to lack of funding for collection development, space, and staffing.  When Colleen Pauwels became Director of the Law Library in 1979, she was asked to create a long-range plan to remedy this.

IMG_0067Through her directorship of 33 years, Colleen built the Law Library’s reputation back up by securing an addition to the Law Library, increasing our staffing, and increasing our book budget.  Her tenure as Director saw the Law Library transition into the age of computers, the Internet, and cutting-edge technologies like CD-ROMs (okay, at one time they were considered cutting-edge!) and wireless connectivity.  We have always endeavored to meet the evolving needs of our students and faculty, and Colleen was a driving force for that ideal.  Through her efforts, our Law Library today is recognized as one of the best in the nation.  It is only fitting, therefore, that, if the Reference Office be named for anyone, it be named in honor of and in gratitude to Colleen Kristl Pauwels.

(Image 1: Law Library, circa 1906)

(Image 2: Law Library, 1940)

(Image 3: Law Library today)

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