Saturday, August 28, 2010

Constitutional Law--Web Resources

For those absorbed in Constitutional Law this semester, there are some good background resources out on the Web. One of my favorites is "The American Constitution - A Documentary Record." Part of Yale Law Library's Avalon Project, it gathers the state constitutions from the founders' era, delegates' notes from the Constitutional Convention, ratification documents, and other early compacts, charters and resolutions on which the U.S. Constitution was built. Another good source for background and review is the annotated U.S. Constitution found on Cornell University Law School's Legal Information Institute (LII) site. For each section and amendment, there is a link to a discussion of the text in historical and theoretical context, with case citations, prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), which provides objective, nonpartisan research and analysis to Congressional committees and members of Congress.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, August 27, 2010

Research is more than just Lexis and Westlaw

Either you already know (or if you are a first year, you soon will) how great Lexis and Westlaw are for your research. BUT!!! There is much more out there that can make your research much better and sometimes much quicker.

The Library's Online Resources page is a subject arranged listing of available databases and really useful free web sites. Need pdfs of articles??? Try HeinOnline. Need ideas for a paper topic??? Try BNA. Have a library assignment and need to find a periodicals index??? Try Index to Legal Periodicals.

All of these and much, much more are available through the Online Resources link.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Guide To Free Legal Research Online

The Law Student Guide to Free Legal Research on the Internet is now available. We cannot improve upon the brief self-description that appears on the home page, so it is, verbatim:

"First off, you should know that this guide won’t make legal research fun or fast or easy. Legal research is boring and tedious and nothing can change that. The best you can hope for is to plug along long enough that you eventually can get an unfortunate law student such as yourself to do your research for you.

What this guide can do is make legal research cheap. Free, as a matter of fact."

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Case Reporters, RIP?

A Canadian law blog has put up an interesting post cheering what it sees as the impending death of the printed case reporter, since these are often full of public information but sold by private publishers for profit. Of course, the author doesn't mention the things that private publishers often add to cases that are a major convenience (at least for American attorneys), like headnotes. And saying that "Westlaw, Canada Law Book, Carswell - are on the precipice of corporate death" is a real overstatement. But it is true that there is a trend for law firms and law schools to cancel their subscriptions to printed case reporters. For about a decade, U.S. law librarian email lists have had regular postings of entire 100+ volume sets of case reporters, as "free to a good home" because they are being discarded.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Copyright Issues Hit a Sour Note With Jazz Fans

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem recently acquired the Savory Collection. An audio engineer named William Savory created this treasure trove of never before released recordings. It boasts 100 hours of music recorded on 1000 aluminum and vinyl discs--a pretty impressive format at the time.

Recorded from radio broadcasts in the late 1930s, this historic collection includes performances by Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Billy Holiday, Lester Young, Lionel Hampton, Fats Waller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, and more. Take it from me, they were pretty cool cats!

However, the recordings were tucked away for decades. After Savory's death, his son sold the collection to NJM. Unfortunately, copyright issues may delay the release of these treasures. Hopefully, museum and record label officials will work through these issues and jazz lovers can leave feeling kind of blue to Miles.

Click the links to read more about William Savory, the Savory Collection, copyright issues concerning the collection, and a possible remedy.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, August 23, 2010

Beloit College Mindset List

Since 1998 Beloit College has released the Mindset List to provide a culture touchstone for students entering college this Fall. It is fun to read the lists for different years for an overview of cultural references have changed.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat