This guide provides convenient links to some of the more common subciting materials. This guide focuses primary on US law and is not an exhaustive list. You may want to contact your journal liaison or the reference department for additional help.
When going through an article, start by assessing the sources. Sort out what should be easy to find from what will be more time consuming. For example, most US law review articles are available on HeinOnline. Law review articles are relatively fast and simple.
Books may also be at other Harvard libraries, the Harvard Depository, or at another university. Some materials may need to be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan (ILL), which can take weeks.
The Library has do-it-yourself scanning stations. You can scan materials on the 2nd floor of the library, using the Ricoh mutifunction machines. There are more scanners on the third floor of the library in room 352. The stations have been configured for easy use, and instructions are attached to their kiosks. Scanning is absolutely free.
Subciting often involves finding materials in their "original" form - for materials online. This means finding .pdf versions of materials as they appear in an official print source. One of the best resources for getting sources as they appear in print is:
Throughout this guide are links to HeinOnline, which contains PDF scans of originals. The links are marked by (HeinOnline) at the end of the link name.
To find books please start with the library catalog:
If you cannot find what you are looking for in the Hollis catalog, try the following:
If you have not found your source please contact the library for assistance.
For more current law review articles visit:
If the pinpoint cite is wrong in the footnote of the draft article, you may want to search for quotes. You can do this effectively in etc. in Westlaw or Lexis. Then obtain the PDF copy in HeinOnline.
Sometimes older volumes may still only exist in print; if you are not finding something electronically, try searching:
If the article or paper is not yet published, try:
Search in HOLLIS. If the article title is not listed in HOLLIS, try finding the journal title. If that is unsuccessful, try pasting your article name and author into:
Finding newspapers can be tricky. Some journal editors still require the original print format. However, HLS only has a few and most are only kept for a few months. Most databases archive just the text - not the page image.
The federal statutes and the United States Constitution are codified in the United States Code (U.S.C.). The Latest print edition for the U.S. Code is 2018. Sections must be updated using the Supplements (and relevant Code section).
To learn more about how to begin a federal legislative history, start with the following video introduction:
Running Time: 4 minutes, 33 seconds.
For a step-by-step guide to conducting a legislative history consult:
Public Laws and Session Laws can be located at:
This may include: Bills, Hearings, Committee Reports, etc. . .
Materials produced by an agency will often be found on the agency’s website. For additional information about finding administrative sources visit:
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.):
Federal Register (Fed. Reg.):
The following video will walk you through how to request a state code for your subcite:
Running Time: 5 minutes, 10 seconds.
If you require assistance with superseded state statutes check the following sources, and ask a librarian:
PDF versions of original reporter images are available from the following sources:
U.S. Supreme Court decisions including slip opinions are available from:
Historical state caselaw is available from:
The following provides a primer on finding and using docket materials:
Running Time: 4 minutes, 22 seconds.
For an introduction to finding foreign law sources visit:
Running Time: 6 minutes, 22 seconds.
HeinOnline has several foreign law databases that are quite useful including:
Table One lists each jurisdiction's reporters, codes, and other primary sources. It provides citation formats and dates of coverage. For those citing foreign law in U.S. law reviews, The Bluebook is not comprehensive.
If The Bluebook does not address a source you must cite, use custom and, if possible, parallel citations. When filing legal documents with a court, court rules of citation will apply. Consult court rules to determine whether or not Bluebook format is appropriate.
For citation guides on both domestic and foreign legal and non-legal sources, please see:
Research for subcites may be complicated, and require you to use unfamiliar research methods. If you're cannot find a resource after exploring the methods above, please contact a librarian. You can reach out to your journal liaison or the reference department for assistance.
Your journal's library liaison is your main contact at the HLS Library. Your liaison can assist through:
Look up your journal liaison's name and contact information in the table below for assistance.
Ask Us! Submit a question or search our knowledge base.
Chat with us! Chat with a librarian (HLS only)
Contact Historical & Special Collections at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet with Us Schedule an online consult with a Librarian
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Classes View Training Calendar or Request an Insta-Class
Text Ask a Librarian, 617-702-2728
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