Saturday, June 09, 2012

Clarence Darrow Digital Collection

When I'm not prowling the web for something new and helpful to law students, I spend a lot of time around law librarians, some of my favorite humans.  In recognition of his work on a wonderful new resource, the Clarence Darrow Digital Collection, law librarian Michael J. Hannon will receive the prestigious Joseph L. Andrews Bibliographical Award from the American Association of Law Libraries this year.  Hannon, an associate director at the University of Minnesota Law Library, was responsible for the content of the site, commentaries on Darrow's letters and other primary sources, and the acquisition of these unique materials. In addition to trial transcripts, articles, books, and a large photo archive, sources in this searchable database include 806 personal letters to and from Darrow, representing both family members and the influential and famous figures of his age. Here you will find every published state and federal case where Darrow or his law firm are listed as counsel or which quote or refer to him.  Other sources document Darrow's work on boards and causes.  Anyone interested in Clarence Darrow, famous trials, or the development of American law should find much of interest here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, June 08, 2012

More from Google

As you know I am a fan of many (not all) things Google.  As I mentioned back in 2008, Google Docs is a great tool for collaborating on documents.  You can create and share a document and then all collaborators can comment and make changes.  Google Docs can also be used for storage "in the Cloud" of documents you need to access from different locations and devices.

That is the old news.  New to Google Docs is the "Research" function.  With a document open in Google Docs, highlight a word or phrase then click on Tools menu > Research.  Google will run a search on the words you have highlighted.  This would be particularly useful to use with research papers, memos and briefs.

Hat tip and for more detail, see Prof Hacker .  For another good source for more information see the (unofficial)  Google System blog .

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Summer Melittology

For those who may want to spend some of their Summer break cultivating the study of bumblebees, the Federal government has you covered. Download a government document guide (SuDoc# A 13.2:B 39/8) to identifying the twenty-one species of bumblebee most commonly encountered between the Atlantic coast and the Mississippi River here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


"Enacted in 1966, and taking effect on July 5, 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that any person has a right, enforceable in court, to obtain access to federal agency records, except to the extent that such records (or portions of them) are protected from public disclosure by one of nine exemptions or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions."

The web portal provides a direct link to the FOIA contacts by executive agency.  To learn more about FOIA, including how to make a FOIA request, click here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, June 05, 2012 networking for books!

Widbook is the self-proclaimed YouTube of books.  Social networking platforms engage users, encourage collaboration and promote the sharing and exchange of ideas and media.  Now Widbook has created that type of platform for books. 

"Book lovers and authors can share stories with others in their social networks, as well as create digital bookshelves to peruse. One of the most interesting features of this site is the ability to collaborate with other authors to create a digital book.

Widbook allows you to invite writers to add the next chapter and continue sharing — like Mad Libs for books. You can publish the chapters as you write, even if you’re not finished with the book, and share those chapters with your network on Facebook, Twitter and Google+." (Read more at

Sign up for Widbook and explore the possibilties here at

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, June 04, 2012

Fun with LinkedIn

Check out this post at 3 Geeks and a Law Blog highlighting 10 fun items on LinkedIn. 

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat