Saturday, February 16, 2008

Positively Presidential

Presidents' Day weekend is a great time to look at some of the digital treasures from the inaugurations of Washington, Lincoln and other American presidents in "I Do Solemnly Swear...Presidential Inaugurations." This wonderful collection, part of the Library of Congress American Memory project, features inaugural invitations, handwritten drafts and final texts of inaugural addresses, eyewitness accounts, photos and other images, videos, and other special facts and documents associated with taking the Oath of Office. The George Washington and Abraham Lincoln pages are representative of these fascinating windows into presidential history.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, February 15, 2008

Presidents' Day

The Library is open and I will be prowling with an occasional pounce from 10am - 6pm on Presidents' Day, Monday, February 18th. Enjoy the three-day weekend.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, February 14, 2008

CQ Voting and Elections Collection (Online Resource)

The CQ Voting and Elections Collection, available via the Axinn Library online databases, is a timely addition to our blog.

CQ Voting and Elections integrates data, analyses, explanations, and historical material. The database offers research and reference tools that deal with the American voter, major and minor political parties, campaigns and elections, historical and modern Congressional races, the presidency, and governorships. This Web site is organized into six categories (descriptions are from the Web site):

  1. Presidential Elections includes explanations of the presidential electoral process, analyses and data for historical and modern presidential elections, modern voting behavior, key events and issues, and biographies.
  2. Congressional Elections provides explanations of the congressional electoral process, including reapportionment and redistricting; data for historical and modern congressional elections; analyses of modern congressional elections; modern voting behavior; modern district profiles; key events and issues; and biographies.
  3. Gubernatorial Elections presents explanations of the gubernatorial electoral process and data for historical and modern gubernatorial elections.
  4. Campaigns and Elections explores the American system of voting and elections, electoral process and reform, media, interest groups, and the impact of money.
  5. Political Parties covers the party system in America, including party strength and control, and profiles Democratic, Republican, and third parties.
  6. Voters and Demographics covers expansion of voting rights, voter turnout, voting behavior, modern county census data, and modern district profiles.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sentencing Law and Policy Blog

If you are interested in criminal law, take a look at the Sentencing Law and Policy blog. The blog has been discussed in the Wall Street Journal and Lawyer's Weekly, and according to this, is the first blog to be cited by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Speaking of sentencing, I discovered that a movie called Punishment Park (1971) will be screening at the Museum of Modern Art in February and March. The movie is a "fake documentary" in which members of the counterculture (this was the 1970's) are sentenced to run across the California desert while being chased by law enforcement. I have heard it is a fascinating movie.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

International Law in Domestic Courts

For those engaged in transnational/international legal research ILDC brings you a regularly updated repository of domestic cases in international law from over 60 jurisdictions. The cases are selected by local reporters in conjunction with our editorial board and feature expert commentary, full texts of judgments in their original language and translations of key passages of non-English judgments into English.

No, this is not all foreign case law; however, as you may know obtaining a foreign judgment in English is often difficult if not impossible. This subscription database is a good start to filling that need. International Law in Domestic Courts may be found through the Law Library's website under online resources. ILDC is under both International and Foreign Law - Court Decisions and International and Foreign Law - General Sites.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Authenticated Documents

The Government Printing Office has begun offering digital certificates of authentication with some documents. This basically means that a document includes a certificate that will check the document's authenticity when you open it (i.e. whether there is any chance that parts of the document are incorrect because it has been tampered with) and then display an icon showing whether the document has been validated.

The current Congress's Public and Private Laws are available with this technology in a beta version. And a fully-authenticated version of the 2009 budget, mentioned Thursday, is also available. One assumes that this has something to do with how President Bush was able to submit the budget without printing any copies.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat