Author Archives: kjacks

Welcome to Oxford

Welcome to Oxford for those new to the University and welcome back to those that have returned.  We hope to see you all in the Law Library throughout this term.

Picture of the Law Library entrance gates

Depending on whether you have visited us recently, a few things have changed and a few things have returned to the pre-pandemic situation and so we thought we would run through our current services for newcomers and returnees alike.

Using the Library

We are open to readers with University cards and you are all welcome to come in to use the collections and space here.  If you have visited us over the past year you may be pleased to know that there is now no need to book; just turn up.  Opening hours are available on the website here (scroll down). These are currently our vacation hours but from Sat 9th October we will be on our term time hours which are 9-10pm Monday to Friday, 10-7pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Covid safety

Your safety is important to us and so we have kept some of the procedures that help stop the spread of the virus.  We strongly encourage the use of face coverings during your visit (unless exempt) and there is a track and trace QR code to scan at the entrance.  We have made more seats available (in comparison to last year) but there are still a few seats that have been cordoned off to give readers space.  These are marked clearly with red and white tape.  We also have cleaning stations around the library and we recommend that you clean the desk and seat before and after use. We are also opening all windows around the Library to allow for better ventilation. Please do not close the windows, they can be kept on the catch, or, if you are cold, please find a seat away from the windows .  If you have any concerns about using the library, please do contact us at

Picture of the Large IT Room in the Law Library with a number of desks and computers

The Large IT Room

Seats and Spaces

As mentioned above, there are more seats available this year and you are welcome to sit in any that are not marked with a red and white tape.  All the seating across all four floors is open to any reader and there are a variety of seating and spaces available.  As well as seats within the main reading room, there are seats around the edge of the library, these have windows that can be opened for fresh air.  There are also carrels and rooms available, doors must be kept open for ventilation purposes and there is a limit on how many people use these at the same time.  We also have a number of Library PC’s available for use around the Library, including an IT room on the ground floor that has machines well spaced for use.  All seats are on a first come, first served basis and at the moment we are not offering booking of any of our spaces.

Photocopying, Scanning and Printing

We have these facilities within the Library, you can ask at the Library for further information or there is a guide to how the Bodleian system works available here .  There are charges for photocopying and printing but scanning is now free.

Library classes

We are in full swing with our induction sessions over the next few weeks but from week 2 onwards, we are offering a number of classes on different resources and databases.  A list can be found on the Law Lecture List here .  Classes will be in person but may switch to online if necessary but please contact us with any questions.  We also offer a Book a Librarian service if you have particular research needs that cannot be met by the classes.  These may be in person or online.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us @



Christmas databases

Those of you that have followed the blog for a number of years will remember that we usually finish off the year with a series of festive posts.  This year, as with a lot of other things, we have had to put our pens to one side to focus on adapting to the new normal.  However, it wouldn’t be right to leave this year without at least one Christmas post.

As many of us have been relying more heavily on e-resources, I thought I would highlight some of the ‘lesser known’ legal online resources we have access to.  An (almost) full list can be found on our Legal Databases page, you may also find more guidance on e-resources in your area with our Libguides.


is for Constitutions of the countries of the world.  This database strictly speaking should not be a ‘C’ as the new title now includes ‘Oxford’.  From Aargu to Zurich it is a great starting point for researchers with content from current constitutions and foundation documents to commentary and analysis.

 is for HeinOnline.  Many will know HeinOnline for articles from their extensive Law Journal Library and so it does not fall into the category of ‘lesser known’.  However there are so many other ‘libraries’ available via HeinOnline that you may not know about.  See the screenshot below for the list!

 is for Refworld.  This is free site that has a collection of material collected by the UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) to aid decisions on refugee status. Use “Quick Links” to access (inter alia) collections of national legislation and national and international case decisions (including tribunals and administrative bodies)

 is for Informit Indigenous Collection.  The Informit Indigenous Collection covers a range of subjects, not just legal. The primary focus is material from and about the Asia Pacific region. The full text Collection contains journals, books, conference proceedings and reports.

 is for Sabinet Reference aka Sabinet Law Collection.  This a full text database of South African and African legal publications, both academic and trade.



is for Trade Law Guide.  A useful site full of tools that will help you research WTO jurisprudence and commentary.


 is for Making of Modern Law: legal treatises 1800-1926 and Making of the Modern World (MOMW).  MOML is predominantly a database of historical Anglo-American legal treatises including casebooks, letters, pamphlets and speeches. MOMW is a digital facsimile images of 61,000 works of literature on economic and business published between 1450 & 1850. Useful for legal history topics with commercial, financial, social, political or mercantile dimensions.

 is for Arbitration (Kluwer). As you would expect, Kluwer Arbitration provides access to a range of resources on commercial international arbitration.  From commentary to access to cases and awards.

is for Social Science Research Network. The subscribed collections includes the Legal Scholarship Network, where you can find University of Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper Series. OU also subscribes to the Economics Research, Financial Economics and  Management Research Networks. Non-subscribers are able to see abstracts of these articles, working papers, and preprints.


We hope that whatever your plans, you have a good Christmas break and we will welcome you back in the New Year.

Picture credits

C  – 20100226-c-by-chris-plascik used under CC BY-NC 2.0 –

H – h46-by-karyn-christner used under  CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

R –  r-by-duncan-c used under CC BY-NC 2.0 –

I –  letter-i-by-nsub used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 –

S – tile-s-by-nsub1 used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 –

T – red-silk-alphabet-t-by-TIGER500 used under CC BY 2.0 –

M – m-by-canadian-family used under CC BY-SA 2.0

A –  a-by-tim-knapen used under CC BY-NC 2.0 –

S – s-by-karyn-christner used under  CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Here comes Santa paws

After wrapping up the Getting to Know the Law Bod series we are now getting into the festive spirit and bringing you our annual Christmas blog offerings.  Like with previous years (a good summary with links through to each year can be found here for the curious) we have a theme and this year it is Christmas animals.

1. Christmas #786 by K-netoTR Further attribution details below**

We will be blogging each day this week (and also on the 23rd!) relating Christmas animals to legal resources and/or Library services in the most tenuous way possible (again another Law Bod Christmas blog tradition set from the start in 2012 with the very dubious connections in the ‘Partridge in a Pear Tree’ post).  This year we may even give an extra mince pie to the blog writer who comes up with the most tenuous link so if you see one that you think is particularly good (or perhaps we should say ‘bad’) then mention it in the comments and we will use it to judge.

When thinking of this year’s theme it was difficult at first to think of many animals that were related to Christmas but there were a surprising number once we got going. There are the obvious,  so reindeers, donkeys, camels, turkeys and robins.  Some of the lesser known (well, less known in the UK) are outlined in this article here .  We could also look back to our first Christmas blog series and get inspiration from the carol “12 days of Christmas“, where the lucky recipient received no less than 6 different types of bird.

Talking of Christmas carols*, animals appear quite often as either the main subject of a number of Christmas carols or within the lyrics.   From the oxen in Once in Royal David’s City to Little Donkey,  from the deer in The Holly and the Ivy to The Animal Carol.  If you are looking for something from a little further afield then there is the titled ‘Carol of the Birds‘ or ‘El Cant dels Ocells’  a Catalan carol.

So onto the first tenuous ‘bridge’ .  It appears that as animals play an important part in both the traditional Christmas story and also in the wider winter season, they are also considered important in terms of the law.

Halsbury’s Laws Volume 2 contents pages

From laws outlining how they are kept and treated (Animal Welfare Act 2006), to laws protecting status and environmental concerns (Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981) to laws protecting people from animals (Dangerous Dogs Act 1991) there are a lot more laws relating to animals than you might think.

So many in fact that Halsbury’s Laws Of England (5th edn) has a whole heading dedicated to them.  If you are starting any English legal research you can do worse than picking up one of the most authoritative secondary sources in English law.  Seen as a statement rather than a discussion of  the law, it provides an excellent first step in identifying relevant primary sources.  Continuously updated (in the hard copy as well as the online) the many volumes can be found at KZ1 in the Law Library or electronically via Lexis Library.

In the interest of fairness, other resources on animal law are also available.  A quick search of SOLO reveals lots of results including a number of journals, for example, the UK Journal of Animal Law.  You can also browse our shelves at shelfmark KN186.8 to see the books we have on the subject.

*If you are interested in how many carols are out there then you may get an idea from this Wikipedia article  (usual disclaimers about the source!).

Please join us over the next week to see how we have managed to link various different Christmas animals to the many resources we have!

** Picture 1: Christmas #786 by K-netoTR reproduced under  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Lending in the Law Bod

It is week 5 of the Get to the Know the Law Bod series and this week we are looking at lending in the Bodleian Law Library.

It may seem like an unlikely topic given that the Law Bod is a reference only Library but we thought we would take the time this week to explain the no-lending policy as well as highlight some common misconceptions that may arise when using the collection within the Library.

Why is it reference only?

The LawBod has always been a reference only Library.  This means that the book that you need will always be here!  But what about when the Library is closed?  In line with wider Bodleian policy, we’re investing extensively in e-resources that our students and Faculty can access at any time and from anywhere in the world using Single Sign-on:  look for the green spot and the Online access links on SOLO.  For decades, Law has led the way worldwide in making primary resources available on-line, and here in the LawBod we subscribe to an extensive range of legal databases .  We have also used our Copyright Licensing Agency Higher Education Licence and ORLO (reading list software) to provide direct online access to a wide range of materials for postgrads on taught courses.  Every few years we consult the Law Faculty about lending, and so far the Faculty has preferred us to maintain a non-lending policy.

Copyright receipt obligations

The Bodleian is fortunate to be one of the British Isles’ six libraries of legal deposit .  Publishers within the UK must deposit their work in a number of nominated libraries, of which the Bodleian is one, and a substantial part of the LawBod’s collection comes through this method of copyright receipt.  The Bodleian preserves deposited publications in perpetuity.  At present, no Bodleian Library lends print material received by legal deposit, and under the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 it is not possible to lend electronic legal deposit (eLD) items, as they may only be accessed on from Library PCs within the premises of the Legal Deposit Libraries

Advantages to reference only

The main advantage to being reference only is that the books will always be here.  This is of particular advantage to students on taught courses where there is often a number of students looking for the same material at the same time.  The Law Bod can offer a ‘back-up’ to college libraries when their copies are out on loan, which means that students should never be in a position of not being able to read material on their reading lists due to it being in somebody’s room.

For researchers this means that you can access all your material in one place and at one time, when you need it, without waiting for it to be returned by another reader.

It also means that there is less chance of a book going permanently missing, for example if someone were to mislay it, or leave Oxford without returning it.  This is particularly important for material that is difficult or impossible to replace.


Can books ever be taken out of the Library?

As explained above books cannot be taken out of the Library by anybody but we wouldn’t be ‘law’ if there weren’t a few (very restricted) exceptions.


We do send items off to the Bodleian’s Accessible Resources Unit (ARACU) so that they can make appropriate copies to support students who need material in particular formats.  These are usually items that we have in hard copy only and the turnaround is quite quick so we get the material back here promptly.


Some of our serials (journals and law reports) arrive in parts throughout the year, but we do not receive a bound volume for the whole  year from our supplier.  To look after the material, so that it does not get damaged or parts go missing, we bind the parts up.  We do not have a bindery here (more’s the pity) and so we send the parts off to be bound.  We try and minimise the impact of this and quite often we can find an electronic version for you to use.

Inter-Library Loans 

As with most Bodleian Libraries, the Law Bod does accept inter-library loan requests from other institutions (whereby we send items on loan for use within that institution’s library).  However these are heavily restricted (especially for law) and do not include law reports, journals, loose-leaf publications, anything published and received via copyright receipt in the last 5 years, anything that appears on a reading list or that is needed for basic legal research.  (The full list of restrictions is much longer). In return, we can request loans from other institutions, of items we don’t have in Oxford for our own students.


Why can’t I find the book on the shelf if the book is always supposed to be here?

The book is being read by someone else

An obvious reason, especially if a book is on a reading list, is that a fellow reader has got there before you and is using it within the Library.  Most of the time it is obvious as there is a gap and we encourage the use of shelf slips for this very reason.  If you suspect this to be the case, it is worthwhile having a quick check of the trolleys to see if we just haven’t had a chance to re-shelve it yet.  If you are unsure then come the Desk to ask.

The book is on a research desk

The book may be on a research desk within the Library.  This is not always obvious from the catalogue record but see below for what to look out for.

The book is missing

Sometimes in a library this size books can go missing.  The most common reason for a missing book is that it has been shelved in the wrong place. If it is a thin or small book it could also have been hidden within another book or slipped behind larger books on the shelves.  The Law Bod has a system in place for checking for missing books and so if you notice that a book is not there come and ask at the Desk.  A member of staff will usually check that it is not for one of the reasons above and may have a quick check to see if there is an obvious place where it could have been mislaid.  If that is not successful we will fill in a card (we will, with your permission, take your contact details to notify you).  Our more expert shelvers (with an eye for things out of place) will then check periodically over the next few weeks to see if we can track it down.  Of course if the need to consult the book is more urgent then please do say at the time of reporting as we can either look into the possibility of ordering a new copy, or if this is not possible, look into an inter-library loan.

Why does a SOLO record say there is a due date when there is no lending?

It can be confusing when you find a SOLO record that has a due date for a book within the Law Library.  Almost always the date will be for a date in June (regardless of what the current date is).  Please don’t despair or scratch your head as to why some people can borrow: the book is still here!  The book will be on a research desk within the Library and you can still access it.  Research students can ‘reserve’ certain books to their research desks and this involves us scanning the book ‘out’ to them for the academic year.  Unfortunately the way this shows up on the record on SOLO is as a ‘loan’ with a due date.

If you come across this then getting access is simple.  Just come to the Desk with the details of the book, a member of staff will then locate the relevant research desk and go and get the book for you.  If the person is currently using the book then we can negotiate a convenient time for you to consult the book.  We just ask you bring it back to us when you have finished so we can get it back to the right place!

What is the Reserve Collection and why do you need to scan my card if I am not taking them out?

The Law Bod has a collection of the most heavily used items (mostly things on reading lists) kept behind the enquiry desk.  We do this because we need to keep an eye on the use of these items to stop them going missing within the library by accident or being ‘squirrelled’ away for convenient use!  We do this by ‘issuing’ the books to you for use within the library and so they appear on your record.  We will not track you down (for any reason) if you are using the book within the library but you will need to bring it back to the Desk when you leave the library so we can take the book off your record.

If you don’t bring it back before the Library closes you will get an automated email letting you know.  These emails go out early in the morning and have standardised wording for the whole of the Bodleian and so please don’t alarmed by mention of fines.  You may occasionally get an email even though you brought the book back: it may be that if it was very close to the Library closing time, the staff had shut down the system already so didn’t scan it until the morning, or it may be that it was not scanned in properly.  If in doubt please contact us and we will investigate.

Bodleian Law Library Staff

Bodleian Law Library Staff

It’s Week 4 of “Getting to know the LawBod” and this week we are focusing on our library staff.  Check out the Instagram post for the full effect of the autumnal video:

The Bodleian Law Library is managed by Helen.  Helen was formally appointed as Bodleian Law Librarian in January 2018, although she joined the Law Library staff in August 2004 as the Information Resources Librarian.

The Law Library staff are organised in two teams.  The Academic Services Team are led by Margaret who is the Academic Services Librarian.  Felicity, the Information Resources Librarian, leads the Information Resources Team.

The Law Library is also the home of the Bodleian’s Official Papers Collection which is housed on the ground floor.  The Official Papers Section is managed by Hannah.

In total 28 people work in the Law Library – this figure includes a number of part-time, term-time only staff to enable the library to stay open during evenings and weekend in term.

With such a large staff you may wonder how best to contact us?  The Enquiry Desk is always staffed during opening hours and staff will be able to help with your questions or refer you on to someone else.  We are also contactable on email at  In terms of social media we are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Or, if you prefer you can always give us a call on 01865 271462.

Welcome (back) to Oxford

Nights are drawing in and that usually means one thing – the start of a brand new academic year.  Welcome back to all returning students and a warm hello to all new students embarking on your Oxford adventure!

We have been busy over the Summer and so we thought we would run through some Library news to kick off Michaelmas Term and to draw your attention to some new things to look out for over the coming weeks.

What is happening with the roof?

You cannot help but see the scaffolding that now decorates the main reading room.  For all those new to Oxford you will be pleased to know that this is not the permanent ‘look’ of the LawBod, there will be a lovely new roof complete with sky lights in April 2020 (our fingers are firmly crossed!).  The roof renovation is underway, we are hoping disruption will be kept at a minimum but we will be keeping readers updated on the renovation blog here . There is also a notice board at the Library entrance which will keep readers updated about potential noisy periods and work schedules.  The main thing is to ask staff if you are being disturbed by noise, we can suggest other places to sit (the lower floors should be noise free) and there are ear plugs you can take from the desk.


Getting to know us!

We are very keen that you get the most out of the LawBod during your time in Oxford and we want to make sure you know about us and the services we offer.  From spaces in the Library you may not know exist to information on eresources, we are going to be spending the weeks in Michaelmas Term highlighting some useful information and services.

Look out for the noticeboard near the Photocopy room for our displays as well as our Blog posts, Tweets and Instagram posts.  Not a follower of the LawBod yet?  See below for info on our social media activities.

Social Media

The LawBod is active on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram, if you are an avid user of social media and want to follow us see below for details.  We send out information about LawBod news but also interesting legal news as well!

Twitter: @thelawbod

Instagram: @thelawbod


New Westlaw

For those who were merrily using Westlaw up to the end of Trinity Term you may have noticed that the platform has now changed.  If you finding it difficult to navigate then there is plenty of help to get you up and running.  Westlaw have plenty of online user guides but we are also running a session on Westlaw (Making the Most of Westlaw) in the Law Bod at 1.30pm on Friday of week 3 you can book a place here . We also have a short video here that may get you started …


You will be prompted to fill in a short form the first time you log in, this is just your name and your email address (you should use your university email address), access after this should just be your SSO.



The shocking truth about “Father Christmas”

 Written by Deborah Marinkovic

The classic animated film of “Father Christmas” based on the beautifully illustrated books by Raymond Briggs, is an annual festive TV special which appeals to the child in everyone. It has been popular Christmas fare since it first aired in 1991.

In the film, Father Christmas is not the cheery paternal stereotype but a rather grumpy character instead. Oddly, even though he’s an international archetype, when the film was exported to the United States it was censored. Father Christmas was re-voiced by a very jolly William Dennis Hunt instead of the dour Mel Smith. In addition, the word “blooming” was replaced with “merry” and Father Christmas no longer got sozzled, so he didn’t have to endure a hangover. He   wasn’t a glutton either, nor did he dance with any chorus girls. Any scenes showing his intergluteal cleft in the original were air-brushed out too but strangely, he could gamble at Nero’s Palace in Las Vegas. These mores were a cultural no-no in the US so it seems that even the innocence of Father Christmas is not immune to censorship. In the same way “Alice in Wonderland” was banned in China in 1931. Then, the censor General Ho Chien reasoned that anthropomorphized animals were an insult to humans and that children would believe animals and humans had equal status which would have “disastrous” ramifications for society.

Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

There’s an interesting exhibition called the “Story of Phi: Restricted Books” exhibition, on at Blackwell Hall in the Weston Library until 13 January 2019 , which analyses censorship and is well worth a visit. The Bodleian’s status as a Legal Deposit library meant that, due to the sensibilities of the Victorian age all controversial books had to be catalogued separately. The librarians created the Phi shelf-mark based on the Greek letter Φ and access was restricted from 1882 until quite recently.

Not only is “Father Christmas” challenging censorship mores, our hero is worryingly unaware of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which was introduced in May 2018. In one scene he returns from his holidays to find a pile of children’s begging letters containing their addresses, blocking his front door, later another pile is just left outside. As Father Christmas delivers his presents throughout Europe, he must be vigilant about protecting this information. If he wants to find out more about the GDPR he will need to visit the Law Library before the 21st December when it closes or come back on the 2nd January when it reopens. If he wants a physical resource he can do a search on our newly revamped SOLO site which would bring up “EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): an implementation and compliance guide” KM209.P7.ITG 2017, he could also find “Guide to the general data protection regulation: a companion to data protection law and practice (4th edition)” by R. Jay; Euro Comm 510 J42.5a. By selecting “Relevance”, the drop-down menu will allow him to find the newest resources. If he was, understandably too busy to visit, he could access the many online holdings by using his Oxford Single Sign On to find journals such as “European data protection law review” which he could access via HeinOnline .

Finally, if Father Christmas is worried about trespassing, it is mostly a civil rather than criminal matter, so he won’t be nicked; although when there’s a sign inviting him in together with the promise of mince pies and a warming drink it does imply that he is welcome. Of course, if his reindeer and sleigh were to damage the roof when they landed or took off that would be another matter. He would be wise to consult one of the very helpful Oxford LibGuides written by Dr Elizabeth Wells, the Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Librarian, . He could then research the subject of liability in far greater depth.

If you do get the chance to see this charming animated film over the Christmas break, it might shock you to discover how culpable Father Christmas really is!

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas

1. Attribution at the bottom

It’s that time of year again when our intrepid writers here in the Law Library brush off their pens for the annual Law Bod Christmas blog series.  For those new to the blog this is where we spend the lead up to Christmas coming up with numerous posts based upon our ‘theme’ for the year.

When we sat down to think of our theme this year we realised that we had covered an awful lot in the previous 6 years.  Our past efforts include the following:

2012 – 12 (Legal) Days of Christmas

2013 – Christmas Carols

2014 – Christmas Traditions

2015 – Christmas Films

2016 – Christmas No 1’s

2017 – Board Games



Television is like the invention of indoor plumbing. It didn’t change people’s habits. It just kept them inside the house. Alfred Hitchcock

It took a while to come up with a theme that we had not touched upon before but inspired by cosy nights in by the fire (and probably a few too many hours glued to our screens) we all agreed upon Christmas TV Specials.


From Doctor Who to the Queen’s Speech, University Challenge to Only Fools and Horses, spend the next few weeks with us as we reminisce about childhood’s (and ‘adulthood’s’) spent with our favourite TV Characters.  We will try (often in the most tenuous ways) to use our small screen heroes to illustrate services and resources here in the Law Library. Feel free to comment with your favourites!


  1. Bing Crosby, On Television, “White Christmas” (1954), by Classic Film. Taken from Flickr and reproduced under the Creative Commons Licence by-nc 2.0
  2. Vintage Christmas by Roadsidepictures.  Taken from Flickr and reproduced under the Creative Commons Licence by-nc 2.0


Cards against Humanity

I do not agree with what you have to say but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)*


Cards against Humanity, a relatively new game that we were not over familiar with, but it was one that featured in the top ten and so we felt obliged to do some research.

Cards against humanity by justgrimes reproduced under Creative Commons licence

The game revolves around getting people to come up with the most offensive things to say depending on the cards that they have.  It sort of acts as a legitimate way of being politically incorrect with the excuse that you are just reading what is said on the card.  Possibly not to everyone’s tastes in fact there has been some push back from various critics, but it seems like it is popular.

So where can we go with this without digging ourselves into all sorts of offensive holes.  Quite possibly the obvious choice would be looking at resources around the freedom of speech or freedom of expression (not that the two are exactly interchangeable).

For those that are hosting  a Christmas/Holiday get-together in the next 2 weeks it is the sort of topic that can either spark a healthy and robust debate or cause a minor war to break out in your household with Aunty Peggy refusing to speak (or more importantly to pass the cranberry sauce).

There are so many resources on freedom of speech (SOLO alone comes back with 910 hits) it would be hard to mention more than a handful.  One good place to start in order to bring calm and reason would be Barendt, Freedom of Speech (OUP 2019) (available as an eresource to OU Members).  You could also take a look at Human Rights Watch’s page on free speech.

Freedom of expression of course is enshrined in many a human rights document.  It is article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights, as well as being part of the US Constitution.  Information on human rights resources can be found on our Libguide.  At Oxford we also have the Oxford Human Rights Hub as well as the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights.

Of course with rights come responsibilities and there are some caveats to most of the legislation around this issue (clear and present danger in the US for example).  We will leave the debate with you (and Aunty Peggy) as you grapple with issues around censorship and other such minefields.

* This is often attributed to Voltaire and there are some conflicting accounts of the exact wording.

Connecting 4 floors of the Law Bod

Connect 4 by WinsconKow used under Creative Commons Licence (click to see)

Connect 4, a game not of luck but mainly skill, there have even been studies done to work out the 9 main strategies to win the game.  For us at the Law Bod it is mainly about putting coloured plastic discs in a grid to try to make a line of 4 before your opponent.  The game, also know as captain’s mistress (we thought it wise not to use that name as the links may not have been as appropriate), is a staple of many a household game stash as it is quick and easy.  It also shouldn’t result in accusations of cheating (it is a game that is said to have ‘perfect information’ in that you and your opponent have all the information in front of them).

So talking of perfect information and connecting 4 we thought we would take this post to talk about the 4 different levels of the Bodleian Law Library.  You may have your favourite corner of the Library but there are 4 floors full of exciting resources and facilities.

So lets start from the ground up …

Ground Floor

This quiet area of the Library has lots to offer but can sometimes be missed by readers as it sits 2 floors down from the entrance floor.  This is where you will find not one but two IT rooms,  the larger one seats 24 and is often where you will find us teaching about the many resources we have.  The second one is tucked around the corner and is smaller. Imaginatively called the ‘Small Computer Room’  it seats 7 so offers a quiet space for you to work at one of our PC’s.  There are also 3 discussion rooms situated here,  there are 2 that accommodate 3 people and 1 larger one that seats up to 6 (but probably more like 5 if you all have laptops!).  Two of the rooms have audio-visual equipment (with connectors and remotes available from the enquiry desk).  These rooms can be used by anybody but it is best to book unless you don’t mind moving for those that have.  The Graduate Reading Room is also on this floor and so if you are one of our postgraduates then please come and take a look as a possibility for a study space.  As well as these areas there are also some desks, soft seating and a photocopier/printer/scanner.

The ground floor does not only have study space, it also houses a number of important collections.  It is the home of the Official Papers Collection, which is an an excellent collection of parliamentary and non-parliamentary British official papers. The whole collection is on open shelf, making it the only collection in the country to have a full set of House of Lords and Commons papers immediately accessible to readers. The papers of the devolved assemblies and governments and Ireland are also held within the collection as well as a strong international collection.  If you need help with searching you can always ask one of our Official Papers Team.

First Floor

Moving up one floor we have Floor 1.  This is a smaller floor but one which could offer a number of study alternatives.  There are some main desks located as you come through the door and this tends to be quieter (maybe due to the fact that laptops cannot be plugged in).  As well as this you can also find the Seminar Room.  This room (also bookable through the same system as the discussion rooms) can seat up to 15 round a lovely round table.  It has a projector screen (we can provide a projector if needed) and a white board and is a good space for larger groups.


Second Floor

This is the first floor you see when you enter the Law Bod and as such it is often referred to as the ‘main floor’.  It has seats for over 230 people, a number of terminals to quick search the catalogue and PCs, a soft seating areas next to the new journals display and a room with 3 photocopiers/printers/scanners.  It is also where you will find help if you are struggling with anything.  There are usually 2 members of staff stationed on the enquiry desk which is just by the entrance.  We are not just there to scan out ‘reserve books’, we can help with resource questions, directions and photocopying problems.  If we can’t help you ourselves we will go on a hunt for someone who can so please don’t be shy your questions will not be ‘silly’.

The collections on this floor consist of the main UK collection, General monographs, Roman monographs, Jurisprudence monographs.  The main monograph collection on this floor not only has UK monographs but includes monographs from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US within the same run. This is due to the major Moys project which happened over the Summer, more information on this can be found in this blog post.

Third Floor

This is a floor you would probably only visit if you were wanting to use the collections as it does not have seating for general use, however, if you are one of our research postgraduates you may have made your ‘home’ at one of the research desks there.  The collections consist of the resources for individual European countries, the EU collection (Euro Comm), the international (public and private) law collections, the US law collection (apart from monographs) and Criminology.

Connecting the 4 floors are 1 lift and 2 staircases, one is the main staircase and the other is one of the smaller ‘hidden’ staircases in the opposite corner.  There are other smaller staircases throughout although these only ‘connect’ 2/3 floors so be careful about getting lost!  Maps to our collections can be found on our website so you can plan before you come but remember to come and ask if you are struggling.