Library Collections

  1. US Law
  2. Foreign Law Primary Materials
  3. Secondary Materials
  4. Comparative Law
  5. International Law
  1. Electronic Legal Databases
  2. Legal Periodicals and eJournals
  3. Media Center
  4. Reserve
  5. Government Documents
  6. International Documents

The cardinal principle guiding the library's collection development policy is support of the curriculum and faculty research.

US Law

The library has a comprehensive collection of :

  • Federal statutes, legislative history materials, and case reports
  • All law school and commercial law reviews and journals indexed in the Index to Legal Periodicals
  • State statutes as well as official reports, where available

The library has current digests and one major secondary source for the following states only: California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas.

The library also has:

  • New York state legislative history material and New York City primary and secondary sources
  • Treatises and monographs for subjects that comprise a major component of the curriculum or where there is substantial faculty research, including: antitrust and trade regulation, bankruptcy law, business, civil procedure, civil rights law, constitutional law, corporations, criminal law, election law, environmental law, federal courts, intellectual property, jurisprudence,labor law, legal history, professional responsibility, tax law

The library collects at an instructional level for many other areas, including accounting, civil litigation, communications law, family law, real property law, trusts & estates, and at a basic level for almost all other areas of American law, such as admiralty law, health law, immigration law.

Foreign Law Primary Materials

Generally, the library aims to collect all current primary source materials (codes, statutes, regulations, court decisions, jurisprudence), and standard finding tools for major jurisdictions of the world, for selected countries for which it has primary responsibility among the Northeast Foreign Law Libraries Cooperative Group, and as many others as it is possible to acquire, concentrating on Western Europe (primarily Austria, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, and Switzerland); Eastern Europe (primarily Romania); Latin America (primarily Argentina, and Mexico); and Commonwealth countries. Collecting is of English language material except for French material on Canadian law (Quebec) and for some jurisdictions of Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan).

For non Anglo-American jurisdictions, the library collects mainly in English, where available, but has also acquired items in French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and other Slavic languages. The library’s strength in Africa is in English materials on Nigeria and South Africa. Collecting for East Asia and South Asia is only in English.

Secondary Materials

Scholarly treatises in English and the vernacular are collected intensively for Western and Eastern Europe, Latin America, commonwealth countries, and in English only for China and Japan. For other jurisdictions, treatises tend to focus upon civil law and procedure, commercial and business law, constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, environmental law, human rights, patent, trademark and copyright law, private law, taxation, and trade. For the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, the library tries to maintain almost all the scholarly academic periodicals, as well as other leading journals on specific topics (civil and criminal law, labor law, business, taxation, legal history).

For non Anglo-American jurisdictions, the library tries to have a broad collection of foreign law journals and reviews, in English and vernacular, as budgetary conditions allow. The main component of this facet of the collection consists of French, German, Italian, Belgian, Swiss, and Austrian periodicals. In general, periodicals must be listed in a major index to be purchased.

Comparative Law

The library collects comparative law materials, predominantly in English, in which the United States is one of the jurisdictions studied or in which two or more legal systems are compared. The library also acquires the most important comparative law journals published in the US and throughout the world and major loose-leaf sets, such as Constitutions of the Countries of the World.

International Law

To support the wide variety of subjects covered in the curriculum, faculty research, the Global Law School Program, and law school journals, including the New York University Journal of International Law and Policy, the Law Library aims toward comprehensiveness for current English language materials in public international law. The library has particularly strong collections in international human rights, taxation, procedure, arbitration, international commercial law, and international organizations. In general, the collection contains all primary sources and substantial periodicals and monographs from major publishing houses. Treatises for the subjects covered are collected in English and vernacular. The library's goal is to have all international journals published by US law schools and the leading law periodicals produced abroad, in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish, as well as a wide range of yearbooks, essays, and festschriften; international law loose-leaf services are acquired in certain fields.

The library maintains guides on its website for researching international law and international organizations, with links to the major official and commercial online databases and websites.

The library collects major court reports in print, including those from the International Court of Justice, Court of International Arbitration, Court of Justice of the European Communities, European Court of Human Rights, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

International Organizations

The library buys extensively monographs, journals, looseleaf services, and finding tools to support the strong curricular and research interest in international organizations, in particular the European Union, the United Nations, and the World Trade Organization. The library has official documents of these three organizations as follows:

The library is a designated depository for documents of the European Union. The library buys selected United Nations official records, the UN Treaty Series, the ICJ reports, and selected other UN materials in paper. The library also has the Readex microfiche collection of UN documents through 2005, and AccessUN, the online index to the microfiche. For UN materials not available in the law library, patrons may consult the UN depository at the NYU Bobst Library. The library buys the World Trade Organization dispute settlement reports, as well as other WTO publications.

Electronic Legal Databases

In the field of international and foreign law, the library subscribes to an extensive list of legal databases and services that support the teaching needs of the Law School. Priority is given to those products that are used as primary sources, such as treaty series, legislation, and jurisprudence for those jurisdictions most often studied in our academic environment, and secondary sources such as indexes and databases required to access the primary materials. In addition, the law school community is able to access electronic resources that Bobst Library subscribes to on behalf of the university community. Professors may suggest new subscription databases. Evaluation, ordering, and start-up of new databases subscriptions requires time, money, availability, hardware and software evaluation, and a trial stage, and proposals should always be made in advance.

The following links lead users to these databases:

Law Databases
Bobst Library's databases for the university community

Legal Periodicals and eJournals

The Law Library has an extensive collection of legal periodicals, both in print and online. We subscribe to most periodicals indexed in the Index to Legal Periodicals and in the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals. Our focus is on journals published by academic institutions, with some holdings of major practitioner-oriented material. The library relies on Bobst, the university's main library, for most non-law periodicals.

The Law Library subscribes to many online periodicals, referred to as eJournals. In addition, Bobst Library's ejournals collection is available to the university community. Researchers can access these via the Julius Online Catalog and Bobcat. Print periodicals are shelved in several different locations in the library. A few rules of thumb should help library patrons locate the periodicals they need.

Finding Periodicals

1. Check JULIUS first. Do a title search in JULIUS using the periodical title as your search term. If the library owns the title, JULIUS will provide you with a call number, a room location (such as Bound Periodicals, Lasdon Collection, etc), and the volume of the most recent issue received.
2. Click on "Latest received," which will indicate whether the issue is bound or unbound. JULIUS provides the location for bound and unbound issues of a periodical.


The Reserve area is located in the Main Reading Room of the Law Library. It is an open reserve area, in which library patrons obtain their own materials. It houses major treatises, and other materials for which there is high demand.

Library patrons are encouraged to use reserve materials in the open reserve area. There is study carrel seating and photocopy machines. If patrons want to take materials out of the area, they must be checked out.

Government Documents

For staff assistance in identifying and locating documents, contact Kathy Agno.

United States Government Documents

The library holds many of the law-related documents published by the United States government, including documents of the President, executive departments, Congress, the courts, and federal agencies. As a designated United States Government Documents Depository, the library receives selected documents for free from the Government Printing Office, and it also purchases additional documents and related indexes. The library provides free public access to the depository.

Click here for a guide to finding US government documents in the library.

International Document Collections See International organizations above.

Bobst Library
The Bobst Library, which is the main library on the NYU campus, is a depository for United States government documents and United Nations documents.

Media Center

Golding Media Center houses the video, audio, and microform collections of the library as well as video playback equipment, audio playback, and recording equipment and microform reader/printers.

Video Collection

The extensive video collection includes panel discussions on practicing various types of law, and in-house productions which support the curriculum of the clinics, the lawyering program, and individual faculty. All production work is handled by the video services department of the law school.

Audio Collection

The audio collection consists of panels and seminars, Sum and Substance Review tapes, and class reviews, and a legislative history walking tour.

Microform Collection

The large microform collection includes Supreme Court Records, Briefs, and Oral Arguments, New York Law Journal, 19th Century Legal Treatises, United Nations Documents, and a Congressional collection from 1789 to the present. Indexes to the Congressional material and the United Nations Collection are available on CD-ROM.

Microform Scanning

Two of the Law Library's microform readers/printers enable users to scan the film or fiche and save the digitized images on removable media, or email them.

The Media Center is open during library hours. See Law Library Hours.