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Law Library Collection

The Library’s comprehensive collection covers Anglo-American, foreign, comparative, and international law, and includes legislation, court reports, and appropriate administrative material from all U.S. jurisdictions, Great Britain and the Commonwealth, Europe, and most Asian and South American countries.

The Library is a depository for documents of the European Union, and was the first such depository in an American university, in 1957.  It is also a selective depository for U.S. government publications, and extensively collects documents of international intergovernmental organizations.

The Library seeks to provide a complete, worldwide collection of primary material, and a research-level collection of secondary and research resources in print, microform, and computer formats.

There is special depth in the collections relating to indigenous people, including Native Americans; French coutumes; pre-Soviet Russia; early American session laws and court reports; Roman law; foreign law, and international law.  The Library has the complete microfiche set of 19th and 20th Century Legal Treatises, with full cataloging: and has all United Nations documents on microfiche, as well as microform and paper League of Nations documents.

See also, Former Director Margaret Leary's "Building a Foreign Law Collection at the University of Michigan Law Library, 1910-1960" from 94 #3 Law Library Journal 395-425 (Summer 2002) (PDF Document opens in new window).

For current statistics regarding the collection go to this page.

Current Collection Development Policy PDF Document opens in new window

(Revised August 27, 2014)

The Oldest Book in the Collection

The oldest book in the Law Library is:

Nider, Johannes, 1380-1438. De contractibus mercatorum. [Cologne, Ulrich Zel, ca. 1468. [30] leaves, the last blank. 22.5 cm high. First edition. Catalog url: http://umil.iii.com/record=b1115735.

The oldest piece in the Law Library is a manuscript:

Calderinus, Joannes, d. 1365. De ecclesiastico interdicto: distinctiones decretalium (also a series of Questions disputed by Calderinus at Bologna between 1330 and 1346 and similar disputations of Paolo Liazari, canonist at Bologna). [111] leaves. 39 cm high. Catalog url: http://umil.iii.com/record=b1117332.

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