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Law Collection, Dewey Library, for Public Affairs and Policy

R. Irving, Subject Librarian

I. General Purpose

The Dewey Library (Graduate Library for Public Affairs and Policy) Law Collection supports the law related aspects of the teaching and research activities within the School of Criminal Justice, School of Social Welfare, School of Information Science and Policy, and the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. All of these academic programs have a public policy focus which requires access to primary and secondary legal materials. In addition, the Department of Political Science has a concentration in Public Law; the School of Information Science and Policy offers courses in legal research and government documents; the School of Criminal Justice has concentrations in Law and Social Control and Criminal Justice Process, all of which require some use of legal materials.

II. Subject and Language Modifiers

Languages: Almost exclusively English.

Geographical Areas: Materials dealing with the United States are of principal concern. Canadian and British materials are acquired at a lower level and materials from other countries, especially in the criminal law area, are acquired occasionally in order to support comparative research.

Chronological Periods: Emphasis is on contemporary materials, but relevant historical materials are collected as well.

III. Description of Materials Collected

Types of Materials Collected: Monographs and serials comprise the bulk of acquisitions. Standing orders for case reporters and federal and New York State statutory series are prominent. Major United States law reviews and law journals are acquired. Microform collections are added as appropriate. Major legal reference works -- indexes, bibliographies, encyclopedias, dictionaries, digests, directories, etc. -- are housed in either the reference area or the "Law" area of the Dewey Library and are selected by the Reference Subject Librarian for the Dewey Library or the Law Subject Librarian for Dewey. More specialized reference works may be selected by the Law Subject Librarian for Dewey and are generally shelved in the "Law" area.

The University Library subscribes to, Westlaw Campus, LexisNexis Academic, LexisNexis Congressional, and LexisNexis State Capital, electronic databases which provide access to the full-text of primary and secondary materials supportive of legal research.

Types of Materials Excluded: No attempt is made to collect introductory textbooks or casebooks.

Interdisciplinary Factors: Legal research may involve the compilation of legislative histories. The federal documents collection in the University Library has an extensive collection of congressional documents which complement the law collection at Dewey. The University Library also has a collection of primary and secondary legal materials which complement the law collection at Dewey.

IV. Subject and Collection Levels [Collection Level Descriptions]

Public Law
>Advanced Study or Instructional Support Level
Law and Social Control
>Advanced Study or Instructional Support Level
Criminal Justice Administration
>Research Level
Social Legislation
KF 3300-3750
>Advanced Study or Instructional Support Level
Legal Bibliography
KF 240-251
>Advanced Study or Instructional Support Level

V. Other Significant Collections and Resource Sharing

A portion of the Coordinated Collection Development fund received by the University Libraries is allocated for the acquisition of materials to support public policy research. Frequently, these funds are used to purchase law related materials. Both the New York State Library and Albany Law School have extensive law collections which complement ours.

December 2003

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