Lillian Goldman Law Library

In Memory of Sol Goldman

The Lillian Goldman Law Library is located within the heart of the Yale Law School complex, providing the Law School community with ready access to one of the world’s finest collections of printed legal materials, an expansive array of licensed digital resources, a growing collection of digitized and born-digital materials, and an exceptional team of law librarians. The Law Library has been recognized with numerous awards from the American Association of Law Libraries, and the Yale Law Women awarded the library staff collectively the YLW Staff Excellence Award in 2014.

The Law Library’s collections, both print and digital, include an especially rich assortment of texts and treatises emphasizing law and the social sciences and humanities, reflecting Yale’s traditionally broad approach to the study of law. The equally long-standing international interests of the Law School faculty and students are supported by a 250,000-volume foreign and international law collection, which is complemented by licensed digital resources selected in accordance with the geographical and subject interests of our faculty and students. The domestic law materials for countries other than the United States consist of primary and secondary sources for most European jurisdictions and many other countries, collected both in English and the vernacular.

The Law Library’s collection of U.S. legal materials includes the reported state and federal court decisions, statutes and administrative rules, regulations, and decisions, both in digital format and in comprehensive historical print format. The library also maintains thousands of active serial titles in digital and print formats and receives nearly every newly published scholarly monograph in law.

The Law Library’s rare book collection is among the best of any law library in the world and includes very strong holdings of English and U.S. legal history sources, including an unmatched collection of Blackstone editions. The rare book collection also has substantial holdings of European law and canon and Roman law, as well as extensive other resources from around the world.

The Law Library is also a publisher. The Yale Law Library Series in Legal Reference and History, a collaborative effort with Yale University Press, publishes award-winning books of general interest to the legal community, while the ever-expanding collection of oral histories of Yale Law School faculty can be found—alongside Law School faculty and student scholarship—on the library website’s eYLS platform in the YLS Scholarship Repository. Also in eYLS are e-books and document collections that are collaborative efforts between faculty and librarians.

The Law Library has recently embarked on a plan to digitize YLS historical materials in order to make the history of Yale Law School and legal education more accessible to researchers while preserving the print copies for future generations of scholars. The first project was a series of Law Library publications documenting the early history of Yale Law School from the founders to the mid-twentieth century. Other materials in the digitization queue include Law School bulletins and catalogs from the nineteenth century to the present, a variety of alumni directories, several student publications, and more. The Law Library also plans to digitize several unique collections housed in the Rare Book Room, such as its Venetian manuscripts and French legal postcards.

Members of the Law School community enjoy easy, integrated access to legal information in all formats. The Law Library’s online catalog, MORRIS, provides access to printed collections and includes all of the library’s bibliographic records, with links to online versions of many of the same items. Yale Quicksearch allows users to search both the Law Library catalog and the University Library catalog (Orbis) simultaneously.

The Law Library subscribes to full-text sources of digital legal information including major commercial services, such as Westlaw, Lexis, Bloomberg Law, and HeinOnline. These are supplemented by many other specialized domestic and foreign online resources. The Law Library’s website helps researchers navigate the vast array of print and online resources with tools such as legal research guides and video tutorials.

The Law Library’s collections are complemented by the world-class collections housed nearby at other campus libraries, including Sterling Memorial Library and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, which hold more than fifteen million volumes and information in all media, ranging from ancient papyri to early printed books to electronic databases.

The Law Library’s professional staff of librarians offer innovative services, training, and support to library users in their efforts to find information. In addition, professional librarians offer a wide array of legal research courses, workshops, and training programs for students, faculty, and staff throughout the year. The Law Library coordinates educational and entertaining programs, such as book talks and movie nights, with faculty and students, and it offers sessions with its mascot library dog during highly stressful periods. The library is constantly reinventing space to accommodate student desire for both quiet study and collaborative work areas.

Interlibrary loan, document delivery, and paging, combined with scan-on-demand and deliver-on-demand services, further facilitate student and faculty research and instruction. For materials not available at the Lillian Goldman Law Library, we provide free interlibrary borrowing services for members of the Law School community, enhanced by direct, seamless borrowing from other Ivy libraries. The rich resources of the other Yale campus libraries are made readily available to Yale Law School users through Eli Express, a free campus document delivery service. Finally, when students need a break, they can borrow an assortment of board games, DVDs, sporting equipment, and other items that provide temporary relief from the rigors of the academy.