Latin America

The Lillian Goldman Law Library’s Latin American and Caribbean collection is quickly expanding along with the desires and needs of YLS faculty, students, and researchers.  The largest collections are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico.  Chile is a Vigorous Collecting Responsibility of ours within the NEFFLCG consortium; Colombia was at one time a PCR (Primary Collecting Responsibility) within the Research Libraries Group.  Bolivia, Peru, and Venezuela are emerging and popular jurisdictions.  Although legal material from other nations is often scarce and difficult to obtain, we purchase select items when available and pertinent to the collection, especially in the area of human rights and constitutional law.  Naturally, the vast majority of legal material from the Americas is in the vernacular; we will purchase English-language material when available.  We still rely heavily on print material in Latin America.  We purchase treatises and monographs in the areas previously mentioned (primarily legal history, constitutional law, civil rights, and environmental law; secondarily civil law and procedure, criminal law and procedure, commercial law, administrative law, and other public and private law).  For the major jurisdictions, we also attempt to collect national legislation and high court decisions.  We maintain where possible a current (within three to four years) selection of codes with commentary, especially the five primary codes:  civil, civil procedure, criminal, criminal procedure, and commercial.   We continue to receive law journals from a variety of jurisdictions, including nearly all the Latin American journals indexed in the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals.  We do not purchase the national gazettes of Latin America and the Caribbean, nor do we purchase practice materials and university text books unless they are the only available items on a particular important topic.  Many jurisdictions produce a very small amount of legal material with a very limited number of copies making it extremely difficult to obtain.  We often receive gifts of books published by former Yale Law School graduate students living and working in Latin America. The Library is increasingly turning to online databases for access to Latin American law.  We subscribe to vLex Global, which is beginning to cover the law of Latin America, such as many of the national gazettes and a selection of codes, legislation, and court decisions.  We also subscribe to the NatLaw World database of the National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade, which contains significant national legislation focusing on business law.  There are also several open-access databases with a smattering of primary law and secondary material from the Americas.  As with print material, the vast majority of online resources are in the vernacular.