Introduction

The Lillian Goldman Law Library collects books, serials, electronic resources, and other materials primarily to support instruction and research by current and future Yale Law School faculty and students.  A secondary but important purpose of our collection is to support legal research and scholarship by members of the Yale University community, the regional community of lawyers, and legal scholars from throughout the world. Collection policy reflects the Yale Law School’s theoretical orientation, its strong tradition of interdisciplinary studies involving the social sciences and the humanities, and its longstanding interest in law viewed from a global and historical perspective.  We favor publications that take a scholarly or critical approach. We favor items published by university presses and other publishers who produce scholarly or authoritative materials. Works that are primarily oriented toward practicing attorneys or are produced by publishers with such an orientation are generally disfavored.

The above general principles guide some specific goals that we are committed to pursuing even in an information climate in which our budget is more constrained than in the past:

  • Continue to collect electronic legal resources of significant value to our faculty and students, unless a resource is prohibitively expensive.
  • Continue to comprehensively collect scholarly monographs for United States law and for public international law and human rights in the English language.
  • Continue to have one of the premier collections of legal history materials in the world. This means we will collect rare law books extensively, retain older materials, collect reprints, and collect current secondary sources on legal history extensively.
  • Continue to collect foreign-law materials extensively in order to serve the current and future research needs of our faculty and students and to enhance nationwide access to such materials.
  • Collect the social science, humanities, and general monographs most in demand by our faculty and students, to the extent that budget permits.

Increasingly, library acquisitions will take the form of providing access to materials through licenses to electronic resources rather than ownership of print.  Other forms of access to materials, such as reciprocal arrangements with other libraries for interlibrary lending and cooperative collection development, will probably also become more important.   We are strongly committed to supporting the research and instructional needs of Yale Law School faculty and students.  Within reasonable limits imposed by budgets and our duties as stewards of University resources, we will purchase materials requested by law faculty, even though they may be expensive, duplicative of the University Library, or nonlegal in subject matter.  Even for requests by law students, we will attempt to purchase needed materials that are not overly expensive and not too far afield from law-related subjects. The Lillian Goldman Law Library collects books, serials, electronic resources, and other  materials primarily to support instruction and research by current and future Yale Law School faculty and students.