Start your international law research with the World Treaty Library via HeinOnline

Are you researching an international law topic for your substantial research paper? For a journal comment or article? For a clinic or center research project? For your B.A. paper? Make sure you look for a related treaty or international agreement on the topic. The D’Angelo Law Library has subscribed to a new database that you can use. It’s available via HeinOnline and called the World Treaty Library (WTL).

World Treaty Library via HeinOnline (screencap)

Covering 1648 to the present, the WTL provides searching across major treaty sources (indexes and full-text compilations in PDF), including:

  • de Clercq’s Recueil des traités de la France (1864-1917)
  • Dumont’s Corps universel diplomatique du droit des gens (1726-1739)
  • Hein’s U.S. Treaty Index (1776-current)
  • League of Nations Treaty Series (L.N.T.S., 1920-1946)
  • Martens’ Treaties (Nouveau recueil général de traités, etc., 1817-1944)
  • Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General (United Nations’ MTDSG, 1981-2009)
  • Multilateral Treaty Calendar, 1648-1995 (Christian L. Wiktor)
  • United Nations Treaty Series (U.N.T.S., 1946-current)
  • United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (U.S.T.)
  • Peter Rohn’s World Treaty Index (WTI, 1900-1980)

The World Treaty Library includes other treaty publications and related works, a Bibliography, and scholarly articles.

Check it out!

We have a 10-day trial to the new World Treaties Library via HeinOnline

Test Hein’s new database, the World Treaty Library via HeinOnline,  and let us know what you think.  The WTL includes the digitized version of Peter H. Rohn’s 5-volume World Treaty Index covering 1900-1980, and collects treaties dating back to 1648, so great for historical treaty research.  It also comprises major treaty series, collections, and indexes such as Marten’s and Wiktor’s Multilateral Treaty Calendar. More information re WTL contents is available via Hein’s brochure.

You can view a YouTube video on how to use and search the World Treaty Library via HeinOnline. 

World Treaty Library (screen capture)

The D’Angelo Law Library is also considering subscribing to the new Oxford Historical Treaties database which includes the Consolidated Treaties Series (C.T.S.) in PDF.

The Library and the University of Chicago Campaign

This fall, the University of Chicago is entering the public phase of The University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact, which has a goal of raising $4.5 billion. The priorities of the campaign, the most ambitious in the University’s history, include support for faculty and researchers who are shaping fields of inquiry, distinctive educational opportunities for students at all levels, and innovative programs to enhance the University’s local and global reach and impact.

The University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry & ImpactThe Library serves as a vital center of inquiry and impact at the University of Chicago, fueling groundbreaking research and a transformative educational experience, while acting as a mecca for scholars from around the world. We are proud to support inquiry and impact across all the disciplines of the University, and we embrace the opportunity to participate in the University’s campaign. Toward that end, we seek to raise $26.5 million in essential funds in four categories that will enable us to build on our strengths and continue our work as a world-class and world-renowned research library.

Distinctive collections: Special Collections and global resources

Among the Library’s most distinctive holdings are its Special Collections of rare books, manuscripts, and archives, as well as world-renowned area studies collections focused on East Asia, Southern Asia, the Middle East, and Slavic and Eastern Europe. Funds are needed to preserve and expand these invaluable collections for future researchers and students. A $2 million Special Collections Opportunity Endowment will enable the purchase of unique items and rare collections that are available for a limited time in a highly competitive marketplace. A $2.5 million Global Resources Collections Opportunity Endowment will allow the Library to seize special opportunities in areas of the world where different acquisition patterns require flexibility. And a $5 million Digital Program Endowment will support the digitization of collections to enable new types of research on campus and around the world.

Expanding areas

The Library strives to anticipate the new needs of faculty and students. As the University establishes and expands its programs in areas such as molecular engineering and the sciences, Jewish studies, and Latin America, the Library seeks to establish expendable and endowed funds to build collections and provide services that support emerging directions in the University’s research agenda. A $2 million Science Collections Fund will bolster the John Crerar Library’s resources, including online literature, databases for discovery, and tools to aid in the discovery, management, visualization, and analysis of information arising from research activities, such as ChemDraw, which allows researchers to draw chemical substances. A $1.5 million Jewish Studies Endowment will expand and enhance the Library’s current Jewish Studies collection to serve the growing needs on campus in this area.

New Library services

The electronic age has created an increasingly complex landscape for everyone from College students to advanced researchers. New teaching techniques and assignments create the need for new study environments. Graduate students, faculty, and visiting researchers have highly specialized research needs that often require in-depth consultation with librarians. A $2 million Instruction and Research Support Program Endowment will enable the Library to teach users how to optimize their use of both emerging and established scholarly resources. A $1 million Study Spaces Fund will support the creation of flexible spaces that are suitable for collaboration and outfitted with the latest technologies.

Strategic opportunities

In order to embrace the promise and the challenges of the future, the Library must be able to respond to opportunities as they arise. New research needs will continue to emerge, and user demand for rapid and innovative access to physical and virtual materials will continue to grow. A $2 million Strategic Opportunities Fund will allow the Library to sustain its strengths and maintain its forward momentum. This fund will provide long-term support to test new ideas through pilot projects, to use technologies of the future; to hire experts for emerging initiatives; and to purchase products and services developed by commercial vendors. A $3 million Strategic Opportunities Collections Endowment will provide the Library flexibility to obtain highly desirable, unique collections across the disciplines when they come onto the market. The fund will also support the University of Chicago Library’s fruitful partnerships with peer institutions in order to increase collection coverage, discoverability, and access.


For specific information on these and other campaign giving opportunities and to learn more about the Library’s role in The University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact, please contact Yasmin Omer, Director of Development for the Library at 773-834-3744 or at

Two Keystone sessions on international human rights research, Wed., Nov. 5, 12:15 & 3pm, Room D

Lyonette Louis-Jacques (photo)The D’Angelo Law Library’s Foreign and International Law Librarian & Lecturer in Law, Lyonette Louis-Jacques, is offering two 45-minute Keystone Professionalism and Leadership Program sessions focusing on effective international human rights research.  Students interested in human rights work and practice are welcome to attend!

Researching International Human Rights Law & Policy

Date: Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Times12:15pm – 1:00pm; 3:00pm – 3:45pm

Location: Law School, Classroom D

Lyonette Louis-Jacques will provide a quick overview of the United Nations human rights system, as well as the European, Inter-American, African, and other regional systems for the protection of human rights.  She will highlight major sources for locating treaties, jurisprudence, and other human rights-related documents, as well as important IGOs, NGOs, and social media sources.  She will especially emphasize tools for international human rights lawyering, advocacy, and litigation.

This event is being offered twice: at 12:15 pm & 3:00 pm. Point value: 10 Keystone points

Is it a crime for you to turn someone into a zombie?

Bela Lugosi, from White ZombieYes, if you’re in Haiti.  For Halloween, I was researching modern-day criminalization of witchcraft and sorcery around the world, but ran into this fascinating blog post about the “undead” in Haiti.  The Law Library of Congress’ Anne Guha, with the help of foreign law specialist, Nicolas Boring, wrote in the October 31, 2014 In Custodia Legis, about Haitian law related to making zombies.  Guha writes that, while looking for scary movies for Halloween:

“…I stumbled onto… “Doc of the Dead” (2014), a film about modern zombie culture and the zombie genre.  The film brings up the 1883 Haitian Criminal Code, and claims that people being turned into zombies was a real problem in Haiti, as evidenced by a statute which outlaws making zombies…”

To verify this claim, Guha turned to Boring, as an expert in the law of French-speaking jurisdictions.  Nicolas’ answer indicates the importance of knowing a country’s culture and language to interpreting its law. 

One must look at the original meaning of the term “zombie,” which is actually slightly different from the flesh-eating reanimated corpses that we see in modern horror fiction.  The word is derived from the Haitian creole “zonbi.”  According to Dr. Yves Saint-Gérard, author of Le Phénomène Zombi (The Zombie Phenomenon), this term designates a “living-dead,” or, figuratively, a person devoid of any will or character.  According to traditional Haitian beliefs, a person might be “zombified” by a bokor (the Voodoo equivalent of a sorcerer).  Through the use of dark magic, the bokor brings the victim into a state of near-death or deep coma.  The victim’s family and community bury him/her, thinking that he/she is dead.  But the bokor subsequently digs up and revives the victim as a zombie:  a state under which he/she is devoid of free will and does whatever the bokor tells him/her to do.

It is unclear how a bokor induces his victim’s near-death state, but it appears to be through the use of potions.  One theory is that zombification results from the ingestion of tetradotoxin, a chemical extracted from puffer fish (Dr. Saint- Gérard attributes this theory to American botanist Wade Davis).  In any case, it seems that zombification comes from ingesting, as stated by article 246 of the Haitian Criminal Code, “substances which, without giving death, will cause a more-or-less prolonged state of lethargy.”

The full post, “Does the Haitian Criminal Code Outlaw Making Zombies?, “is great Halloween weekend reading, and references Kate Ramsey’s The Spirits and the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti (2011 – PRINT; EBOOK) and White Zombie (a 1932 classic American horror movie directed by Victor Halperin and starring Bela Lugosi; PUBLIC DOMAIN via the INTERNET ARCHIVE). White Zombie, animated gifThe movie promos included the actual text in English translation of the  Haitian penal code’s zombie provision, Article 246 [mis-cited as Article “249”].  Suggestion for y’all this weekend – read the post; see this movie!

People Fall Fest offers behind-the-scenes look at D’Angelo

Dan Scime, ’17, had just finished a round of Law School Jeopardy! in the D’Angelo Law Library conference room, correctly guessing which park was the site of the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition.

“I’ll take ‘Around Town’ for 500,” he told law librarians Lyonette Louis-Jacques and Bill Schwesig, before reading the question on the screen and asking, “What is Jackson Park?”

It was a sight probably familiar to second- and third-year students: The library’s fourth annual Fall Fest, an afternoon of games, trivia, and homemade baked goods designed to introduce new Students play Jeopardy game at Fall Feststudents to the library’s staff and resources. As part of this year’s event, students played “Name that Tune” in the Fulton Reading Room; tossed beanbags at wood UChicago cornhole platforms; tried their hands at a mini-golf putting green; and sampled cupcakes, cookies, chocolate-covered pretzels, and other treats made by library staff. (A particularly popular item: Margaret Schilt’s pumpkin cupcakes. Find the recipe in the right column). Todd Ito, Coordinator of Instruction and Outreach and a reference librarian, organized this year’s Fest and also planned and staffed the “Name that Tune” station with librarian Thomas Drueke. 

Students also talked to Lorna Tang, Associate Law Librarian for Technical Services, about the library’s Chicago Collection, which consists of five shelves of about 250 books — ranging from Jean F. Block’s Hyde Park Houses to Erik Larson’s Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness in the Fair that Changed America — as well as DVDs about Chicago. The collection was first set up with funds donated in memory of Thomas Owens, who worked at the library’s circulation desk for more than 40 years. He was fond of law students — and they were fond of him — and he loved Chicago.

“Many new students don’t come from Chicago, and this collection will give them a little flavor,” Tang said.

The event gave many of the nearly 130 students who attended a closer look at the 695,083-volume library, which was named for alumnus Dino D’Angelo, ‘44, an attorney, real estate owner, patron of the arts, and philanthropist. Students who took time to chat up some of the library’s 25 full-time staff might have learned which librarian brews his own beer, why there’s a chevron “crack” in the floor behind the reference desk, and how the library acquires the nodding justices in its U.S. Supreme Court bobblehead collection.

Didn’t have time to ask those questions? In honor of Fall Fest, we’ve compiled some of our favorite lesser-known facts about the library and its staff.

The library’s staff speaks or reads 16 languages: American Sign Language, Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Haitian Creole, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Provençal, Spanish, Romanian, and Russian. “It keeps things interesting,” said Louis-Jacques, who speaks Haitian Creole, French, Spanish, and “a little German.”

The most popular of the 1,643 titles in the library’s DVD collection is the television series “The Wire.” Also popular: The Godfather, China Town, Fight Club, and The Godfather Part II.

Edward H. Levi, ’35, started out in the library, and he wasn’t paid very well. Rather than hire him as a full-time professor in 1936, the Law School made him a law librarian and an assistant professor, paying him a total of $3,000 — $125 less than the most junior member of the faculty made at the inception of the Law School in 1902. His library assignment, which accounted for one-third of his original salary, lasted only a year. In 1937, he was hired as a full-time professor and his salary went up accordingly. Levi, of course, went on to serve as Dean of the Law School, President of the University, and Attorney General of the United States.

Library Assistant Steve Coats was a U.S. diplomat in Mexico during the Clinton administration. He worked for several years in the early 1990s in the cultural and press section of the American embassy in Mexico City and the American consulate in Tijuana.

The zig-zagging fissure that runs along the floor behind the reference desk marks the division between the old library and the 1987 expansion. The renovation, which preserved the architectural integrity of Eero Saarinen’s original design, expanded the building by forty-five feet to the south.

The staff has nearly 350 years of combined library experience.

The collection includes about 1,500 books written by alumni. Those titles range from legal practice materials to fiction.

Library Director Sheri Lewis greets students at Fall FestD’Angelo Library Director Sheri Lewis owns two guinea pigs. They are named Gwendolen and Cecilyafter characters in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

The library has 10 SCOTUS bobbleheads: James Iredell, Benjamin Curtis, Harry A. Blackmun, William H. Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, David H. Souter, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “The Green Bag issues the dolls and doesn’t ship them,” said Patricia Sayre-McCoy, Head of Cataloging and Serials. “We have to find someone in Washington, D.C., who can pick them up for us and either send them or bring them back to the library.”

Sayre-McCoy is a science-fiction/fantasy writer. She’s been writing stories for about 30 years and has sold two of them to Sword and Sorceress, a series of fantasy anthologies. 

The library’s staff manually counts heads five times a day so they know exactly how patrons use the facility. At opening, in the morning, afternoon, evening and at closing, a staff member spends about 15 minutes walking through the library counting the number of people in different locations, including at window tables and center tables, in carrels and conference rooms, and on black sofas and low shelf seating. The counter uses a special form that has a box for each of the six floors and places to record the date, time, day of the week, and academic quarter.

Drueke brews his own craft beer. He particularly likes making low-alcohol English “session” beers.

The Law School was re-created in 800 Legos by Zach Mayo, ’14. It is displayed on the library’s reference desk.

Six members of the library staff have JDs, and all 11 librarians have masters degrees in library science.

Margaret Schilt is an art quilter. The Associate Law Librarian for User Services, who also teaches Writing and Research in the United States Legal System, has been making the quilted hangings for about eight years. There is one in her office now that depicts white cemetery crosses stitched into a backdrop of green panels, and one solitary cross against a red backdrop in the upper-right corner. She calls it “War and Peace.”

The library’s entire sixth floor is devoted to foreign, comparative, and international law. It has a strong collection from the European Union, especially Germany.

Eight members of the library staff have attended the University of Chicago, either the college or one of the graduate schools.

The framed cross-stitch hanging on the third floor was made by Diane Wood, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and a senior lecturer at the Law School.

Binding Assistant John Mulholland used to be in the Peace Corps, working as a teacher in Swaziland, Africa, from January 1969 to March 1975. He is also the longest-serving member of the library staff, having started in 1976.

The most popular places to sit are at the window tables on the second and third floors. (Remember the head count? That’s how they know).

Senior Acquisitions Assistant Sheila Ralston has more than 10,000 books in her home. About 500 of them are hers—mostly mysteries and English literature (her college major), true crime, and knitting books—and the rest belong to her husband, a game designer and writer who has been collecting books since childhood. The books are stored in bookcases throughout their home.

Julie Stauffer, Head of Acquisitions and Electronic Resources, is an accomplished knitter who first picked up the craft from a “Coats and Clark’s Learn How” pamphlet as a child. She’s not the only avid knitter, either: a group of Law School knitters meets once a week in Library Conference Room 211A.

The library is busiest at the beginning of Autumn Quarter and during Winter Quarter finals. Students check out the most items between 11 a.m. and noon, 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., and two hours before closing. The library space is most crowded between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

A University of Chicago Law School news release

Halloween reading!

What Law Library would be complete without contemporary accounts of famous trials?  Certainly not the D’Angelo Law Library.  And, in the spirit of the season, here are some not-to-be-missed titles:

What happened in Salem? Documents pertaining to the seventeenth-century witchcraft trials. Young Goodman Brown [by] Nathaniel Hawthorne [and] A mirror for witches [by] Esther Forbes.

Author / Creator: Levin, David, 1924-Edition: 2d ed.

Imprint: New York, Harcourt, Brace [1960]

Subject: Trials (Witchcraft) — Massachusetts — Salem Salem (Mass.) 

URL for this record:

D’Angelo Law, Bookstacks, Call No. BF1575.L40 1960


Salem-village witchcraft; a documentary record of local conflict in colonial New England. Edited by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum.

Author / Creator: Boyer, Paul S. , 416 p. illus. 23 cm.

Subjects:Witchcraft — Massachusetts — Salem. Trials (Witchcraft) — Massachusetts — Salem. Salem (Mass.) — History — Sources.

URL for this record:

D’Angelo South Annex, Request from Storage, Call No. KA653.B75 


Records of Salem witchcraft, copied from the original documents. [Compiled by W. Elliot Woodward]

New York : Da Capo Press, 1969. Description: 2 v. in 1. 24 cm.

Subject: Witchcraft — Massachusetts — Salem — History — Sources.

URL for this record:

D’Angelo South Annex, Request from Storage, Call No. KA653.Z9S24 


Or from the lips of the inestimable Reverend Cotton Mather himself:

The wonders of the invisible world being an account of the tryals of several vvitches, lately excuted [!] in New England : and of several remarkable curiosities therein occurring : together with, I. Observations upon the nature, the number, and the operations of the devils. II. A short narrative of a late outrage committed by a knot of witches in Swede-land, very much resembling, and so far explaining, that under which New-England has laboured. III. Some councels directing a due improvement of the terrible things lately done by the unusual and amazing range of evil-spirits in New-England. IV. A brief discourse upon those temptations which are the more ordinary devices of Satan / by Cotton Mather ; published by the special command of his excellency the govenour [!] of the province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England.

Author / Creator: Mather, Cotton, 1663-1728.

Imprint: Printed first, at Bostun [!] in New-England ; and reprinted at London : for John Dunton, 1693.

Description:2 p.l., [1]-98 (i.e. 106) p., 1 l. (sig. 2 l., not signed, A-K4, L-R2) ; 21 cm.

Subject: Witchcraft — New England.

URL for this record:

Available via:Full text online 


And one more compilation of contemporary accounts:

More wonders of the invisible world, or, The wonders of the invisible world displayed in five parts : to which is added a postscript relating to a book entitled, The life of Sir William Phips / collected by Robert Calef.

Author / Creator: Calef, Robert, 1648-1719.

Imprint: [Buffalo, NY] : William S. Hein & Co., [2009]

Series: HeinOnline world trials, World trials library.

Subjects:  Mather, Cotton, 1663-1728. Pietas in patriam.  , Mather, Cotton, 1663-1728. Wonders of the invisible world. Parris, Samuel, 1653-1720. Phips, William, Sir, 1651-1695. Rule, Margaret. Witchcraft — New England — Cases.

URL for this record:

Available via:Full text online 

Happy Halloween!

Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales), domestic violence, and the Inter-American system of human rights: online resources

This Wednesday, October 22, at lunchtime in Room IV, four Law School student organizations – the Human Rights Law Society, the Immigration Law Society, the Law Women’s Caucus, and the Domestic Violence Project – present the International Human Rights Clinic’s Caroline Bettinger-Lopez speaking on “Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v. United States: Reframing Domestic Violence as a Human Rights Violation”.  Ms. Bettinger-Lopez was one of the ACLU attorneys who presented a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) against the U.S. government on behalf of Jessica and her deceased daughters on December 27, 2005 (see Merits Report 80/11, Case 12.626, July 21, 2011).

According to an IACHR press release:

“Jessica Lenahan, a victim of domestic violence along with her daughters Leslie, Katheryn and Rebecca Gonzales, ages 7, 8 and 10, obtained a restraining order against her ex-husband from the Colorado Courts in May 21, 1999. Not knowing the whereabouts of her daughters, Jessica Lenahan had eight contacts with the Castle Rock Police Department during the evening of June 22, 1999 and the morning of June 23, 1999. In each of her telephone calls and discussions with the police agents, she requested efforts to locate her daughters and she informed them that she possessed a protection order against Simon Gonzales. Her contacts were met with a police response that was fragmented, uncoordinated and unprepared, and it did not respect the terms of the restraining order. That morning, Simon Gonzales drove his pick-up truck to the Castle Rock Police Department and fired shots through the window. There was an exchange of gunfire with officers from the station in the course of which he was fatally wounded and killed. The deceased bodies of the three girls were found in his truck.”

Ms. Bettinger-Lopez/IHR Clinic will also be attending the IACHR hearing (follow-up on recommendations) on the Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) case this Monday, October 27, 2014. [UPDATE: Hearing at 10:15 a.m. EDT;  International Human Rights Clinic to Appear Before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Law School, October 23, 2014)]

OAS flag

The Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales)  et. al. v. United States of America case is an example of using the Inter-American human rights system to advocate for U.S. citizens.  Researchers looking for the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights use a variety of sources to access these cases.  Locating IACHR & IACtHR decisions by a topic or specific right can be difficult.  In that regard, the recent launch by Loyola of Los Angeles Law School of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Database is a welcome addition to available online resources.  The IACHR Project describes its database as follows:

“This freely-available database produced by the editors and staff of the IACHR Project under the supervision of Professor Cesare Romano allows users to search Inter-American Court decisions by case name, country, and topic. Advanced search features include the ability to search by specific violation of various Inter-American Conventions.

Search results include a brief description of the case, information on judges, and violations found by the Inter-American Court. When available, the database includes a link to a detailed case summary which includes case facts, procedural history, merits, and state compliance with the Inter-American Court’s judgment. To date, 74 detailed case summaries are available.”

Existing resources before this IACHR database including browsing the Commission and Court’s own websites, searching the IACHR-OAS database in WestlawNext (has Basic Documents Pertaining to Human Rights in the Inter-American System and the Commission’s annual reports), checking the print volumes of the Inter-American Yearbook on Human Rights = Anuario interamericano de derechos humanos, and the following online resources:

Feature Story Brenda Johnson named Library Director and University Librarian

Brenda L. Johnson, an internationally respected leader in the field of library science, has been appointed Library Director and University Librarian, Provost Eric Isaacs announced Oct. 16. Her five-year term begins Jan. 1, 2015.

“The Library plays a key role in the life of faculty and students at the University of Chicago,” Isaacs said. “Brenda’s expertise in supporting both physical collections and the proliferation of digital resources, along with her history of collaboration and innovative thinking, make her an outstanding leader for this important enterprise.”

Brenda Johnson

Brenda Johnson

Johnson currently serves as Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries at Indiana University, Bloomington—a position she has held since 2010. She succeeds Judith Nadler, who retired in June after nearly five decades of service to UChicago.

Before coming to Indiana University, Johnson was University Librarian at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She spent more than 20 years at the University of Michigan, where she served as Associate University Librarian for Public Services, a position with responsibility over that institution’s 19 libraries.

She is active in the national and international library community through service and leadership on a variety of executive boards and committees, such as the board of governors of HathiTrust, the board of directors of CLOCKSS (a digital repository for web-based scholarly publications), the Committee on Institutional Cooperation Library Directors Group, the board of directors of Kuali OLE (Open Library Environment), and the Association of Research Libraries’ Scholarly Communications Steering Committee.

Johnson has become a nationally and internationally recognized voice on topics such as the rapid pace of change in information discovery and dissemination, the development of multi-institution “collective collections,” and research and learning environments, as well as the need for library transformation that fosters scholarly engagement and support. Her recent international speaking engagements have taken her to London, Shanghai, Kyushu and Yokohama, Japan.

“The University of Chicago Library is a unique and influential institution among academic libraries,” Johnson said. “I am truly honored by the opportunity to lead it through a time of transformation for all libraries, and eager to collaborate with faculty, students and staff to ensure its vitality in the years to come.”

Diane Lauderdale, professor of Health Studies, is chair of the Library’s faculty board and chaired the search committee that recommended Johnson for the position of Library Director.

“Brenda Johnson is an experienced library director and well-respected leader in the international academic library community,” Lauderdale said. “She will bring to the University of Chicago a deep understanding of collections, public and technical services and new technologies. We have an outstanding collection and staff here, but like all university libraries, face challenging decisions in the next few years about our physical and digital collections. The search committee felt confident that Brenda had the experience, insight and vision to lead our library to an even higher level of excellence.”

At a time of change for libraries nationwide, the University of Chicago Library has flourished as a center of intellectual inquiry recognized throughout academia and a dynamic learning environment for UChicago students. With its 11.9 million volumes, noted collections in a broad range of fields, including global resources and commitment to keeping its collection on campus, the Library has become a destination for scholars and a model for other institutions worldwide.  

The Joseph Regenstein Library and the adjoining Joe and Rika Mansueto Library are located in the heart of the Hyde Park campus—a testament to the Library’s continued importance to scholarly and campus life at the University, Isaacs said.

The Mansueto Library is the most recent addition to the library system. Mansueto houses cutting-edge facilities for book preservation and digitization, as well as a high-density underground storage system with the capacity to hold 3.5 million volume equivalents. The library was designed to fulfill scholars’ needs for easy access to print resources at a time when many other research universities are moving their collections to off-site storage.

The library is named in honor of Joe Mansueto, AB’78, MBA’80, and Rika Yoshida, AB’91, who gave a $25 million gift to the University in 2008. Architect Helmut Jahn designed the facility’s iconic glass dome, which encloses a light-filled reading room and an underground storage system that descends 50 feet below ground.

Alice Schreyer, Associate University Librarian for Area Studies and Special Collections, has been leading the Library on an interim basis since Nadler’s retirement. She will continue in that role until Johnson’s arrival.

A University of Chicago news release

Practical Law training session, Fri., Oct. 17, 12:15 p.m. in Room E

Dennis Elverman from Westlaw will be at the Law School on Friday, October 17, at 12:15 pm in Classroom E, to give a presentation on using Practical Law, a transactional law focused resource available via WestlawNext. Practical Law provides model documents (with legal drafting and negotiating tips), step-by-step checklists, timelines, handy overviews of transactional practice areas, and legal updates on the latest market developments. Have you ever been asked to draft a residential lease, or interpret a non-compete agreement? Would you know where to start? This is where Practical Law can help! This 30 minute introductory class will get you up to speed on how to most effectively use Practical Law. 

Pizza from Edwardo’s will be provided for lunch!

To RSVP for the class and to insure that there is enough food for everyone, click here:  

New international arbitration databases: TDM & Oxford Investment Claims

The D’Angelo Law Library has two new online resources to help you locate international commercial arbitration law sources for your substantial research papers or the Willem C. Vis Moot.

Transnational Dispute Management (TDM): “The Network for International Arbitration, Mediation and ADR, International Investment Law and Transnational Dispute Management, ” TDM focuses on recent developments in the area of arbitration and dispute management. TDM is “a peer-review online journal publishing about various aspects of international arbitration with a special focus on investment arbitration.”

Oxford Investment Claims: This database “aims to publish all publicly available awards and decisions arising out of international investment arbitrations and related enforcement or review decisions from national courts. The collection includes over 300 arbitral awards, decisions, and determinations under the auspices of bodies such as the ICC International Court of Arbitration, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), and others.”

Tall Ships (Färgtryck, Malmö Museer)

Tall Ships (Färgtryck, Malmö Museer)

Don’t forget you can also use these databases to which we subscribe for international arbitration research:

  1. Getting the Deal Through (GTDT): Arbitration…in 49 Jurisdictions Worldwide (also via Bloomberg Law)
  2. KluwerArbitration (eBooks, eJournals, BITs, conventions, national arbitration legislation, arbitral cases and awards, rules, practice tools)
  3. Oxford Reports on International Investment Claims (available via ORIL)
  4. Practical Law – Arbitration: International (available via WestlawNext)
  5. Practising Law Institute (PLI) Discover Plus: International Arbitration 2014 (John Fellas)

Welcome to our new Head of Access Services

The D’Angelo Law Library welcomes Holly Lipschultz, our new Head of Access Services. Holly is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has a Masters of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Holly brings deep understanding of access services and policies from her experiences working in public and academic libraries, including the John Crerar and Regenstein Libraries here at University of Chicago. She has been an Access Services Assistant here at D’Angelo since October, 2013 and became Head of Access Services effective October 1, 2014. Say hello to Holly at the Law Circulation desk!

D’Angelo Law Library Fall Fest, Oct. 15, 1 – 4 p.m.

Law School students, mark your calendars for the D’Angelo Law Library Fall Fest on Wednesday, October 15, from 1:00-4:00 p.m.!

The Fall Fest is a fun orientation to the Library’s people, services, and resources, featuring games and home baked goodies made by the Library staff. We’ll have four stations on the second and third floors; each station will fill you in on an aspect of the resources available to you in the D’Angelo Law Library, including personal assistance from a reference librarian, hidden details about Chicago, and great ways to relax and get away from the books. It may be your only opportunity to play Cornhole or mini-golf in the Reading Room.

Every law student who visits all four stations will be entered in a drawing for a range of prizes that include signed copies of faculty books, study supplements like the Understanding series, and a special behind the scenes tour of Mansueto Library.

Faculty, staff, and other members of the University community are welcome as well, although only Law School students are eligible to win prizes. See you there!

Apply for the D’Angelo Law Library Student Advisory Board

Students in Reading Room

Do you want to help shape the D’Angelo Law Library experience for you and your fellow students? If you do, consider applying for the D’Angelo Law Library Student Advisory Board. We’re looking for Law School students from all class years (including incoming 1L and LLM students) and who participate in a range of student organizations and extracurricular activities. Even if you don’t think you use the library very much, we want to hear from you, too!

The Board was started in 2012, and the students’ feedback has led to several improvements in Library services. Minutes from previous meetings are available on the Board’s webpage. The librarians look forward to receiving more valuable feedback from this year’s Board on a variety of topics, from library hours to legal research instruction in the Bigelow program to promotion of Library services like UBorrow and Scan & Deliver. The Board will meet approximately two times per quarter, with the meeting dates and times set once Board members are selected.

To apply, fill out the brief online application by Friday, October 31. For questions or additional information, please contact Todd Ito at

Student Advisory Board Application:

New online resource: LexisLibrary

We now have access to LexisLibrary, the UK version of LexisNexis. LexisLibrary has English and British case law, both modern cases and historical cases from the English Reports, Full Reprint and the All England Reports Reprint. Cases include PDF images and noting up information–citing cases and whether the case is still good law. There is up-to-date UK legislation with annotations from Halsbury’s Statutes. Commentary includes Halsbury’s Laws of England, the Laws of Scotland: Stair Memorial Encyclopedia, and treatises and handbooks published by Butterworths and Tolley. There is Canadian and Australian case law, along with the Law Reports of the Commonwealth. Search LexisLibrary using the provided search templates and the same terms and connectors you use with or LexisNexis Academic.  

The D’Angelo Law Library welcomes new students

The D’Angelo Law Library welcomes the JD class of 2017 and the LLM class of 2015. The D’Angelo Law librarians will introduce new JD and LLM students to the Library’s resources and services during tours and presentations during orientation. We hope you will take advantage of our vast resources and knowledgeable staff. There is a great deal of new information to process, so please remember that if you ever have any questions about the Library, please ask us

We’ve gathered what we think is the most important information in the Library Guide for Law Students and in the D’Angelo Law Library organization site on Chalk, the University’s course management system, but we also wanted to highlight our Top 5 services and resources here:

1. Reference Librarians are Here to Help

Our reference staff is knowledgeable, helpful, and accessible by email, chat, phone, and in person. Each Bigelow section also has a Reference Librarian assigned to teach legal research sessions over the course of the year. You can consider that librarian as your point of contact in the library, although all of our librarians are available to help you. We are available seven days a week through email, chat, phone, text and in person at the Reference Desk. See our Hours page for the exact hours.

2. The Law Library Website is the Place to Find Information and Help

The Library website can direct you to services and tools to help you find what you need to study law and conduct legal research. Use our website to get research help, find databases, learn library policies, and keep up with the latest library and legal research news.

3. Access Information Using our Primary Discovery Tools

Library Catalog: We recently launched a new Library Catalog. You can search here for books, electronic materials, and more. The University of Chicago Library has over 7 million books and access to hundreds of thousands of electronic resources, so if you are looking for something, you should start with the catalog, and chances are we have what you are looking for. 

Databases: The Library offers access to hundreds of databases covering various subjects. To locate a database to use for your research, use Database Finder, a tool that enables you to search for a particular database by name or browse by subject to identify relevant databases. The Law Library also provides a list of the main databases used for legal research

Access to Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis, and Westlaw is restricted to Law School students, and each law student will be supplied with an individual password. You will get this password during your library orientation. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to Ask a Law Librarian.

Research Guides: The reference librarians have created research guides on a variety of legal topics. These guides give you starting points for doing research in particular areas of law.

4. Our On Demand Services

Scan & Deliver is an electronic document delivery service that enables members of the University of Chicago community to obtain scanned portions of books or journal articles from the Library’s collections. Requests should be made online, directly from the Library Catalog. Requested documents will be scanned and delivered within four business days. We will scan chapters from books or single articles from journals, provided that the chapter(s) or article does not exceed 20% of the entire book or journal issue. 

We also offer a paging service for Law School students. We will retrieve uncharged Library books located in the stacks of other libraries on campus. This service is currently available to Law School students, faculty, and staff only. Materials will generally be collected within two business days and placed on hold at the Circulation Desk or delivered to the appropriate carrel. You will receive an email when your item is available for pick-up.

While searching the Libary Catalog, you may also occasionally come across items with the location Mansueto or one of the two D’Angelo Law Library annexes. You can request materials from these storage collections to be delivered to the Law Library. It generally takes less than 24 hours, and you will receive an email when your item is available for pick up at the Law Library circulation desk.

5. Getting Books From Other Institutions

Use Borrow Direct, UBorrow, and Interlibrary Loan if you need material that is not available here on campus.

Borrow Direct is a service that can be used to borrow books directly from libraries at the Ivy League universities plus MIT. Most books borrowed through Borrow Direct are available for pickup at the Law Library within four business days. Please note that Borrow Direct will not be available until October 2014.

UBorrow is a similar service that can be used to borrow books directly from libraries at the Big 10 universities plus University of Chicago. Most books borrowed through UBorrow are available for pickup at the Law Library within four business days.

If the book you want is not available from Borrow Direct or UBorrow, or if you need it for an extended period of time, you should use Interlibrary Loan. Requests may be submitted online. 

If the material you are looking for is not available from any of these services, Ask a Law Librarian, and we’ll be happy to help you locate the material.

University of Chicago students in other schools and programs are welcome at the D’Angelo Law Library. If you are interested in an introductory D’Angelo tour or a research consultation with a law reference librarian, please use the Ask a Law Librarian service to schedule a time with one of us. 

Summer quarter loans to UChicago students and staff will be automatically extended to January 9

Items checked out by currently registered University of Chicago students and staff for summer quarter and due October 3 will be automatically renewed by the Library for autumn quarter. As of September 21, all such items will have a new due date of January 9, 2015. No action by UChicago students and staff is necessary.

The automatic renewal is designed to ease the transition to the new Library Catalog and management system. The ability to view a list of checked out items and to renew materials online is currently unavailable to Library users through the My Account function in the new Catalog.

Library staff members are happy to generate a list of your checked-out items and to answer other questions about your account upon request. For assistance, please complete this circulation web form or visit a Library circulation desk.

For the latest information about the implementation of the Library Catalog, visit the Library News site or Ask a Librarian.


Alert Library improving Catalog and checkout response times

Update 9/22/14: Catalog response times have been improved. The Library continues to work on improving checkout response times.

Library staff members are actively working to improve system response times as full implementation of the new Library Catalog and management system continues. The Library apologizes for the inconvenience and appreciates your patience as we work to bring our new systems up to full speed.

Known issues

We expect to resolve these issues in the coming weeks:

Using the Catalog

  • Library Catalog information may be slow to appear.
  • Error messages are sometimes generated during Catalog searches. In such cases, please try your search again in 5 minutes.
  • Account information is currently unavailable through the new Catalog. Library staff members are happy to generate a list of your checked-out items and to answer other questions about your account upon request. For assistance, please complete this circulation web form or visit a Library circulation desk.


  • Checkout processing may be slow.
  • Borrow Direct is currently unavailable. Please use UBorrow or Interlibrary Loan instead.

Quarter loans automatically renewed for autumn

To ease the transition, summer quarter loans to University of Chicago students and staff are being automatically renewed for the autumn quarter on September 21. These books will be due on January 9, 2015.

If you have any questions about the new Catalog, please contact us by email, phone, chat, or in person through our Ask a Librarian service.

Microsoft Office training for Law students, Oct. 5

The Office of the Dean of Students and the D’Angelo Law Library are sponsoring Microsoft Office Training for Law School students on Sunday, October 5. This program earned rave reviews when we offered it in the past. It is meant to address what students will see in practice – new attorneys are expected to be able to do anything computer-related because they are generally the youngest person on the team, yet are at the bottom of the pecking order in terms of getting secretarial support. It’s really hard to teach yourself Power Point at 3 in the morning when the partner wants slides edited and the support staff have long ago gone home for the night. This program will give you the basic Microsoft Office skills you will need during the school year, in summer employment, and as an attorney.

The program will be held Sunday, October 5 with Word training from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and Excel & PowerPoint from 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. There is no charge for the program; you can attend the morning, afternoon, or both. Lunch will be provided. You must bring your own laptop; the program will be applicable for both Mac and PC users. Students must register in advance for this  program at: Please RSVP by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 1st. Sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students & the D’Angelo Law Library.

This program qualifies for up to 60 Keystone Professionalism and Leadership points in the Practical Skills category.

New Lexis Advance interface released Sept. 8

The newly redesigned Lexis Advance interface will be released on Monday, September 8. When you sign in to Lexis Advance with your ID and password, you’ll see a more streamlined interface and enhancements to Alerts, Tables of Contents, Browsing, Filters, and more. A video tour of the new Lexis Advance is available, as well as a Before and After Guide highlighting changes in the new interface.

As was the case last year, access will remain available through Lexis Advance within the Lexis Advance Research menu. LexisNexis will also continue to provide free printing for Lexis Advance in the Third Floor Computer Lab.

If you have any questions about the new Lexis Advance interface, please Ask a Law Librarian or contact our LexisNexis Account Executive, Carter Mills at

New Chinese legal research guides!

Over the summer, several guides to researching Chinese law were published.  The Chinese and American Forum on Law Libraries and Legal Information (CAFLL) compiled a list of links to about 30 web-based Chinese Legal Research Guides (PDF) in July 2014.  A new book by Paul Kossof on Chinese Legal Research (International Legal Research Series, Carolina Academic Press, 2014) is forthcoming in D’Angelo Law Library collection.  And the Law Library of Congress posted the following by Laney Zhang this August:

A Guide to Chinese Legal Research and Global Legal Collection Highlights: Official Publication of Chinese Law

“If you got a chance to read my previous posts on Chinese legal research, Who Makes What? and Administrative Regulations and Departmental Rules, you know that under China’s Law on Legislation, the National People’s Congress (NPC) and its standing committee make laws; the State Council makes administrative regulations; and the ministries and commissions under the State Council make departmental (administrative) rules….”

Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act signed into law in Illinois

August 27 UPDATE: Governor Quinn signed UELMA into law yesterday, as Public Act 98-1097. This makes Illinois the 11th state to enact UELMA.

May 30 UPDATE: The Senate unanimously voted to approve the House floor amendment, so SB 1941 has now passed both houses and will be sent to the Governor.

On Friday, May 16, the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) unanimously passed the Illinois House of Representatives. The bill (SB 1941), which was unanimously passed by the Senate in March, provides a technology-neutral approach to ensuring that online Illinois state legal material deemed official will be preserved and will be permanently available to the public in unaltered form. Currently, many Illinois legal materials, including the state code, are neither official, nor authenticated. Indeed, the version of the Illinois Compiled Statutes published on the Illinois General Assembly website bears the disclaimer: “The provisions have NOT been edited for publication, and are NOT in any sense the ‘official’ text of the Illinois Compiled Statutes as enacted into law. The accuracy of any specific provision originating from this site cannot be assured, and you are urged to consult the official documents or contact legal counsel of your choice. This site should not be cited as an official or authoritative source.” (emphasis in original). If passed, UELMA will require that Illinois primary legal materials are deemed official and that mechanisms are put in place to ensure that they have not been tampered with or altered accidentally.

A technical amendment to the bill was made in the House, so it will be returned to the Senate for concurrence with the House amendment. The hope is that the bill will be approved by the Senate before they adjourn within the next two weeks. Once the bill is signed by the Governor, Illinois will become the tenth state to pass UELMA, joining California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, and Oregon. The bill’s progress can be tracked via the Illinois General Assembly website, and more information about UELMA is available on the American Association of Law Libraries Government Relations website and on the Uniform Law Commission website.

D’Angelo Law Library closed Labor Day

In observance of the Labor Day holiday weekend, the D’Angelo Law Library will close at 2 pm on Friday, August 29, and will be closed on Monday, September 1. The John Crerar Library will be open limited hours on Monday, but the Eckhart, Mansueto, Regenstein, and SSA libraries will all also be closed.

For a full list of library hours, see

Feature Story UChicago launches Kuali OLE and new Catalog

Academic librarians develop open-source software to meet faculty and student needs

The University of Chicago Library is pleased to announce its launch of the Kuali Open Library Environment (OLE) and a new Catalog based on VuFind.

An open-source, community-based library management system, Kuali OLE was created by a partnership of some of the nation’s leading university libraries, including the University of Chicago Library. Kuali OLE, which provides the Library’s technical infrastructure, is intentionally designed to function with a wide range of user interfaces chosen by various individual libraries, including Chicago’s new Catalog.

“We are especially pleased that by implementing Kuali OLE and VuFind we will be providing both a business system and a patron access module that are open source—planned, designed, governed and owned by the library community,” said James Mouw, Associate University Librarian for Collections Services at University of Chicago and Treasurer of the Kuali OLE Board. “Community ownership of key library systems affords us the ability to manage, develop, and enhance our infrastructure as new technologies emerge and the needs of our scholarly community evolve. The ability to move quickly and effectively, working in partnership with other academic research institutions with similar needs is something we have not had with commercial systems.”

Kuali OLE

Kuali OLE was founded by a partnership of research libraries that now includes University of Chicago, Indiana University (lead), SOAS—University of London, Lehigh University, Duke University, North Carolina State University, University of Florida, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania and Villanova University. The partners pooled resources and expertise beginning in 2008 with several grants from the Mellon Foundation to develop this next-generation library system. Chicago and Lehigh University are the initial implementers. Other partners plan to adopt the new system in summer 2015.

Kuali OLE partners

Kuali OLE partners

UChicago Library staff members have played an integral role in the development of Kuali OLE since the design phase in 2008 and continue to do so by developing specifications, participating in software development, undertaking migration planning, providing subject specialist expertise, and testing new development. They hold several key leadership positions on the Kuali OLE team, and dozens more are participating in working groups supporting development activities. Development continues with the next Kuali OLE release due in summer 2015.

New University of Chicago Library Catalog

UChicago Library staff members have tailored VuFind, a library catalog originally developed at Villanova University, to meet the needs of local users. Design goals for the Catalog were drawn from an extensive series of interviews with UChicago faculty and students, conducted to ensure that the new tool meets the needs of researchers. Initial designs were refined throughout the first half of 2014, following the public beta testing of the Catalog by users beginning on February 14, 2014.

Alumna tries out the new Library Catalog

Sylva Osbourne, AB’14, tries out the new Library Catalog. (Photo by Lloyd DeGrane)

“Participating in the VuFind open-source project has allowed the Library to take advantage of commonly requested features already developed by the VuFind community while giving us the latitude to create functionality unique to UChicago needs,” said Elisabeth Long, Associate University Librarian for Digital Services.  “The level of engagement by our faculty and students in helping us design this new Catalog has been especially gratifying.”

The new Catalog features a simple, clean visual design while retaining all of the functionality that patrons identified as valuable in the pre-existing UChicago systems. It also adds new features requested during interviews, including display of the current availability of items on the search results page, as well as easier access to ebooks and ejournals.

“The successful, coordinated launch of these two new Library systems, designed to improve discovery and management of growing collections, could not have been accomplished without the creativity and talent of University of Chicago Library staff,” said Alice Schreyer, Interim Library Director and Associate University Librarian for Area Studies and Special Collections at the University of Chicago. “We are proud to collaborate with our colleagues to develop these new systems that will benefit researchers from around the world.”

Alert New Catalog launched, BorrowDirect restored

10/23/14 update: BorrowDirect is restored.

The University of Chicago Library has launched its new Library Catalog, and most Library services that were temporarily interrupted during the transition period are now restored.   As of today, Lens and the previous Catalog are retired.

We are aware that some system functions may be working slowly. This will be addressed in the coming weeks.

For information about how to use the new Catalog, visit the Catalog Help page or contact us through our Ask a Librarian service.

If you have saved records using My Discoveries in Lens and wish to retain them, there is still time to place a request to have these migrated to the new Library Catalog.

We encourage you to report any difficulties you encounter in using the new Catalog, so that Library staff can quickly diagnose and resolve them.