Whether you are searching for books using SOLO or OLIS, you may come across Law Library items with the arcane marking ‘(sec coll)’ suffixed to the regular shelfmark. What does this library jargon mean? And more importantly, how does it affect you? Knowing about ‘(sec coll)’ will help you with your bibliographic research, and also locating the items you want to see.
The Law Library collection is split into two main parts: the main collection and the secondary collection. The main collection includes the most current version of any item we now possess. However, when a new edition of a work is received by the Library, the previous one is taken from the main collection and put in the secondary collection. This ensures the books on the main library shelves are up-to-date. The books kept in the secondary collection are indicated on the catalogue by the phrase ‘(sec coll)’.
Most of the ‘sec coll’ items are shelved downstairs, directly below the Cw UK section. You can physically identify a ‘sec coll’ item because it will have a red cross or red dot on the label and inside the cover. You are welcome to browse this section and read books in the normal way. So beware, it will be out of date!
When you are searching the catalogue and find an item marked ‘(sec coll)’ you may want to search further to find the most recent edition. And if you do want to see a ‘sec coll’ item, now you’ll know where to look.