Tina S. Ching of the Seattle University School of Law, and Emily Feltren of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) have posted Protecting Access One Entry at a Time: An Update on the National Inventory of Legal Materials, on the VoxPopuLII blog, published by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School.
In this post, the authors describe the National Inventory of Legal Materials, an effort by U.S. law librarians to create a listing of all legal information resources in the United States, in order to facilitate efforts to authenticate, preserve, and make those resources more accessible to the public. The inventory is related to several projects, including the Law.gov legal open government data movement and AALL’s efforts to authenticate and preserve digital legal information, including the effort to persuade states to enact the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA).
The authors report that at least 7,000 resources had been added to the inventory as of last summer. Among the findings arising from analysis of those resources are that:
- U.S. state governments are not authenticating newly created digital legal resources;
- “Twenty-five states assert copyright on at least one legal resource, including Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island”;
- “Eighteen states require preservation and permanent public access of at least one legal resource, including Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington”; and
- “Ten states charge fees to access the official version [of their legal resources], including Kansas, Vermont, and Wyoming.”
The authors report that the first stage of the development of the inventory, focusing on state legal resources, has been completed. The current stage of the development of the inventory, focusing on U.S. federal legal resources, is currently underway. “Emily Carr, Senior Legal Research Specialist at the Law Library of Congress, and Judy Gaskell, retired Librarian of the Supreme Court, are coordinating this project.”
For more information, please see the complete post.