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Welcome HLS Admitted Students!

A brief introduction to the departments and resources available at the Harvard Law Library

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Welcome

We're happy you're here.  As a law student, you will be spending a good deal of your time reading, studying and researching.  Whether you're online or on campus, you'll find an excellent collection of materials to work with at the Harvard Law School Library, and friendly and knowledgeable library staff ready to help.  Read on to learn more about us.

Front view of Langdell Hall with trees

Library Tours

Library Tours

The law library, replete with history and art, is located in Langdell Hall.  Our extensive collections make us the largest academic law library in the world. 

Enter the grand Reading Room, and immerse yourself in a space where Supreme Court justices, U.S. presidents, and countless legal scholars from around the world have studied.  Our newly renovated second floor lounges and third floor research room feature comfortable places to read and relax, plus study rooms equipped with tech connections for research consultations or group collaboration.  And you'll find the Historical & Special Collections department and Library Innovation Lab housed within, on the fourth and first floors respectively.  

Until we can give you an in-person tour, we hope you enjoy this virtual tour, presented by Research Librarian Deanna Barmakian, and Manager of Historical & Special Collections Karen Beck.  

Check out the spooky side of the Harvard Law Library with this virtual edition of our annual Halloween Tour, presented by Research Librarian AJ Blechner, and HSC Manager Karen Beck. 

Law Library Staff and Departments

Law Library Staff and Departments

Below is a sampling of our departments - especially those you're likely to work with most frequently.  To learn more about all of the law library's 70+ staff members, visit our online staff directory (https://hls.harvard.edu/library/about-the-library/staff-directory/).

Research Services

The librarians in the Reference and Research Services department, managed by Mindy Kent, and Faculty Research and Scholarly Support Services department, managed by Debbie Ginsberg, provide research and reference assistance to the HLS and Harvard community. 

The Reference and Research Services librarians work primarily with students, by offering individual research consultations and group research classes, supporting clinical programs and journals and also teaching in the first year Legal Research and Writing program.  The Faculty Services librarians work primarily with faculty members, supporting their research, teaching and scholarship. All librarians have library degrees, and most also have law degrees. 

On demand reference assistance (currently offered via Zoom) is available during business hours.

To contact us, visit the law library's Ask a Librarian page (https://asklib.law.harvard.edu).  

 

Collection Development

Research librarians work closely with librarians in the Collection Development department to ensure maintenance of a robust collection of U.S., foreign and international law materials, both in print and online.  Specialists in Foreign, Comparative and International Law, and well as East Asian and Islamic Law, lend language and subject expertise.  Learn more about our collection development here:  https://hls.harvard.edu/library/about-the-library/harvard-law-school-library-collections/.  

Access Services / Circulation

undefinedThe law library's Access Services / Circulation Department, managed by Brian Sutton, has all the information you need about the law library's policies, including checking out and returning library materials.

Visit https://hls.harvard.edu/library/forms-and-services/ to learn more. 

They also manage the library's on-site collection and take great care of the books on the shelves. 

When you're on campus, stop by the Circulation Desk to borrow items from computer chargers to board games to popular movies, and even a tool kit. You might even spot a local area cat, Remy, stopping by for a visit. 

Historical & Special Collections (HSC)

Our colleagues in Historical & Special Collections (https://hls.harvard.edu/library/historical-special-collections/), led by Karen Beck, acquire, catalog, preserve, and make available materials that document the history of the law.  HSC is open to anyone who needs to use their materials.

HSC also manages our collection of digitized rare materials (hls.harvard.edu/library/digital-collections/).

HSC team on Zoom

Library Innovation Lab (LIL)

The Library Innovation Lab, headed by Adam Ziegler, is regularly at work on various creative projects - from the Caselaw Access Project (CAP) aimed at making all U.S. case law freely available online; to the Perma.cc tool combating link rot for citations; and the H20 Platform for creating, sharing and remixing open course materials.  Learn more at https://lil.law.harvard.edu/.

Photo Gallery: Members of the Law Library Team

AJ, Caroline, and Gail

AJ Blechner (Research Librarian), Caroline Walters (Collection Development Librarian), and Gail Harris (Project Manager) at 2018 Service Day

Patty

Patty Sutton, Technical Services Library Assistant (Acquisitions)

Terri

Terri Messina, Library Assistant (Preservation)

AJ and Jennifer

Jennifer Allison and AJ Blechner, Research Librarians.

Andy

Andy Silva, Web Developer, Library Innovation Lab

Michelle and Student

Research Librarian Michelle Pearse meets with a law student.

Karen

Karen Beck, Head of Historical and Special Collections.

Lori and Jen

Technical Services Library Assistants Lori Rocha and Jennifer Burton

Lesley

Lesley Schoenfeld, Public Services & Visual Collections Administrator, Historical and Special Collections

Lisa and AJ

Research Librarians Lisa Lilliott Rydin and AJ Blechner

JZ

Vice Dean of Library And Information Resources Jonathan Zittrain meets with a law student.

Ben

Ben Steinberg, DevOps Engineer, Library Innovation Lab

Brian and Alethea

Brian Sutton and Alethea Jones in Access Services / Circulation have their hands full!

Lori S.

Lori Schulsinger, Collection Development Coordinator

Mindy

Research Services Manager Mindy Kent meets with a law student.

Catherine Biondo, Research Librarian, screencap

Catherine Biondo, Research Librarian, on YouTube "Topic of the Week" video for LRW (Spring 2021)

Anna

Anna Martin, Research Services Assistant

Ed Moloy, Curator of Modern Manuscripts, Historical and Special Collections.

Deanna

Research Librarian Deanna Barkamian meets with a law student.

Jocelyn

Jocelyn Kennedy, Executive Director of the Law Library

Nongji and Mariko

Nongji Zhang, Bibliographer for East Asian Law, and Mariko Honshuku, Librarian for Japanese Law.

Stephen

Stephen Wiles, Collection Development Librarian for Foreign, Comparative & International Law

Ref-Frida-Zoom

A Zoom meeting of members of the research services and faculty support team.

Research Resources

Electronic Materials

In addition to three major legal research databases -- Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Law -- HLS students have access to a wealth of research databases both at the law school and from the greater university.  We're happy to help you navigate them. 

Whether you're conducting U.S., foreign or international legal research; your work spans various academic disciplines, or you're doing some statistical analysis, we have you covered.  

Learn more at https://hls.harvard.edu/library/research/find-a-database/.

Newspapers

Harvard offers access to hundreds of current and historical newspapers from across the United States and around the world. 

Plus, HLS students can sign up for individual free subscriptions to:

  • New York Times
  • Financial Times
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Washington Post 

Learn more about Newspapers for the HLS Community at https://guides.library.harvard.edu/law/newspapers. 

HOLLIS catalog

Our online catalog, HOLLIS (http://hollis.harvard.edu), shows you materials across all of Harvard's libraries and should be your first stop for research. Thousands upon thousands of items are in there - from books to databases to newspapers to media.  

In the off chance that we don't have what you need, Borrow Direct and ILL services are available from other libraries.  

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