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Law Library News for February 18, 2002

Ann Hemmens, editor

Law Library News Archive


Book of the Week: Law in America

by Cheryl Nyberg

Law in America: An Illustrated Celebration, by Blair Kauffman & Bonnie Collier (Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, 2001). KF352.K38 2001 at Reference Office

This beautiful, large (14x11�) book surveys 200 years of law in America, highlighting the law�s influence on the nation�s cultural, intellectual, business, and popular life. The volume is copiously illustrated with color and black-and-white cartoons, images, paintings, photographs, and posters.

Chapters cover:

  • symbols of justice (Themis, courtrooms, jail cells)
  • legal education (Harvard Law School, Christopher Columbus Langdell, a moot courtroom)
  • the practice of law
  • famous trials (Salem Witch Trials, the Scottsboro Nine, Sacco and Vanzetti)
  • the courts (jurisdiction, appointment of judges)
  • landmark cases (Marbury v. Madison, Brown v. Board of Education, Miranda v. Arizona)
  • media sensations (Lizzie Borden, Clarence Darrow and the Scopes Monkey Trial, Charles Manson, the Menendez Brothers), and
  • the lawyer in popular culture (writings by Mark Twain, Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, Perry Mason, Tom Hanks in �Philadelphia)

Remember the Seinfeld episode about Kramer's coffee-table book about coffee-tables? Law in America would have made a great selection. It even comes equipped with a beverage coaster featuring the scales of justice right on the cover. Stop by the Reference Office and see it for yourself!

For additional descriptions of selected books see the Book of the Week Archive.

Online Index to Early Legal Periodical Literature

Everything is online, right? Well no, many early works are only available in print format but select resources are migrating to the online environment as well. Four volumes of the Index to Legal Periodical Literature (covering the years 1786-1922) are now available in a searchable format online through the "19th Century Masterfile" database. This index (often called the Jones and Chipman Index, referring to the editors) was the first to provide a comprehensive index to English language legal periodicals and it contains 98,254 citations from 590 general periodical titles, 236 legal periodical titles and 67 Law Report Titles, covering 11,000 volumes.

There are many other indexes for pre-1920 materials available through the "19th Century Masterfile" including: Poole's Index to Periodical Literature (1802-1907); New York Times Index (1863-1905); A Compilation of the Message and Papers of the Presidents (1789-1897); Subject Matter Index of Patents Issued by the U.S (1790-1873); and Cobett's Parliamentary History of England (1066-1803).

The "19th Century Masterfile" database is available through the University Libraries Information Gateway. It is restricted to UW users, which means you can access it through any campus library computer or at home by using either a proxy server or the UWICK kit. For more information on connecting to online resources off campus, see our guide on Connecting to Online Library Resources.

A New Index to Washington Practice

Actually this is the first General Index to the Washington Practice series!

This softbound volume (found at the end of the multi-volume set) indexes all volumes of Washington Practice as of October 2001. Supplements or replacement index volumes will be issued in the future.

Washington Practice is a twenty-eight volume set that functions as a legal encyclopedia for our state (think of AmJur or CJS but focused only on the law of Washington). But unlike the larger legal encyclopedias, Washington Practice has separate titles and authors within the set, and each title has a separate index. So for example, volume 18 of the series contains the index to the topic Real Estate: Property Law and Transactions (written by William Stoebuck), which is contained in volumes 17 and 18. But now the topic is also indexed in the general index to the whole set - much easier!

We have three copies of the General Index to Washington Practice: KFW30.W3 Index at Reserve, Reference Office & the Washington Alcove.

President's Day Celebration - Which One?

We are celebrating Presidents' Day on Feb. 18, 2002 - but did you know that this federal holiday--celebrated on the third Monday of each February--is actually called "Washington's Birthday" according to the United States Code (see 5 U.S.C. � 6103(a)).

There are two presidential birthdays to celebrate in the month of February:

  • Abraham Lincoln: Feb. 12
  • George Washington: Feb. 22

On Feb.11, 1971, President Richard Nixon issued an Executive Order designating the holiday as "Washington's Birthday," and in a statement that day he spoke of the many contributions of Abraham Lincoln and the importance of honoring that great President (Exec. Order No. 11582, 3 C.F.R.539 (1971-1975), reprinted in 5 U.S.C. � 6103(a) (2001)). Either way, it's a holiday celebrating Presidents and cause for celebration.