A new online treasure trove

By | 7 November 2012

Well – new for the Bodleian and a trove  at least for those lawyers with an historical bent!

Law Library Microfilm Consortium – digital (as of August 2012) makes available online 5,554 titles (112,372 volumes!). The focus is on law or legal-related titles – so it may well be of use to social scientists more generally than “just” lawyers. As most of the titles were published in the range (19th to c1980s – historians too may also find it has useful stuff. (I think perhaps especially if you are interested in British colonial/empire history.)

The individual titles contained within it (and it is a growing resource) have not been given links in SOLO – so you have to get in and have a look around to see what treats it can offer you. OU students can access it anywhere on the university network – if off the network they can either Log in to OxLIP+ with their Oxford Single Sign On username and password, or use a VPN on their own computer.

The database opens at the Catalogue/Citation Search page

Home page which allows both browsing (by drilling down left hand links) and searching

First time visitors or infrequent users need to get an understanding of what is held in the particular area or jurisdiction they are interested in. This is best done by drilling down in the Search by Collection panel by clicking on the + sign to the  left of whichever of the broad category most nearly matches your field of study.  Of course there is great variability in the depth of coverage  – the USA collection (both federal and state) is by far the strongest – but don’t write the resource off if you are interested in countries beyond the Anglo-American/English speaking world!Below is a snap shot of some of the resources which can find via Foreign Jurisdictions to Germany:

Some of the resources relating to Germany available

(When searching using foreign language terms in LLMC you don’t have to worry about accents or characters eg for é, ü, or ß just use e,u or s instead.)

If, while browsing, you see a title exactly on topic then clicking on the title will bring up the whole book to read through, or, if you click on the Search link to the right of the title, you will be taken to a search screen which enables you to search across the full text of that work only.

If you want to get to full-text searching more quickly, click on the Search link (just below the top banner) and, on the drop down that appears, click on LLMC-Digital – Full-Text Search option.

Getting to full text searching

On the search screen which then appears, it is wisest to apply a little filtering via the left hand panel. Foolishly I  searched for Blackstone without thinking – and a considerable time later (this is not a complaint, but an inevitable result of my own lack of forethought!) LLRMC came back with 15132 hits!

The left hand panel does also allow you to pick and choose: you can deselect then re select  two or more areas at once. The plus + signs also indicate that you can, if you wish, apply a further filter in that category … I think a snap shot (see below) makes what I mean clearer what I am talking about!

How you can combine and limit the areas of the database searched

So a more sensible search strategy might be if you want to find out about delict in Roman Law.
1) Deselect all the Collections in the left hand panel except the last, Multi-jurisdiction subject collections
2) Click on the + to the left of  Multi-jurisdiction subject collections.
3) Deselect all the sub-collections except Roman Law
4) Type delict into the search box

Getting to search for Roman law of delict

The first result screen looks like the snap shot below – the number under the column called Number of Pages indicates how many hits were found within each title…

Initial results screen for search for delict in Roman law

In this instance the work called RomanL, Moyle, Justinian’s Institutes, Bk. 4, 1903 had the most number of hits, so looked the most promising. If you click the title you can pick up the hits one by one. If, on the other hand, you consider that the number of hits makes it likely that the whole volume would be worth looking at Click on the Green My file button to the right of the title.Then click on the My File link just under the banner.

My file – your e-shelf within LLMC

On this screen you can do another BOOLEAN search within the volume(s) in your file, or, if you click on the title you can read the volume online entire. (The drop down menus under Page Range can take you to for exampe the contents page, individual text page numbers and index pages. Or the grey arrows mean you can turn the pages through the volume. PLEASE note that your choices in My file will only stay there for the duration of your current/present session.

Add titles to My File to read texts online from cover to cover

LLMC, a non-profit cooperative of libraries, is dedicated to – and passionate about – its twin goals: 1) Preserving legal titles and government documents, and 2) Making this valuable content accessible and searchable. The system works by member libraries offering physically deteriorating books for scanning in return for a digital or film replacement. In 2003 LLMC decided to make its digital copies available to a wider audience. Non-contributors, such as the Bodleian, are able to take out subscriptions allowing us to have access to all the scanned material that is available online. (To ensure long term survival of the texts another copy is made in archival-quality Silver-Halide film, and the paper pages are kept in “ideal dark-archive space” in salt mines in Kansas.)

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