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Finding Books and Articles on International and Foreign Law

Diamond Law Library

The Arthur W. Diamond Law Library houses an impressive collection of domestic, foreign, comparative, and international law materials on four floors throughout the library. Most of the materials are located in open stacks; which means that users can go to the shelf and retrieve items without assistance. Many items in our collection do circulate and may be checked out by patrons who have borrowing privileges. However, some of the collections do not circulate and must be used within the law library. The library does have scanners that are available for use free of charge to scan items, which may then be emailed or downloaded to a USB device. Some of our collections are located in closed stack areas which require assistance for retrieval. The law library also houses part of its collection in a retrievable off-site storage facility in Princeton, New Jersey. Any items requested from offsite are generally available the next business day if requested before 2:30 PM or within 2 business days if requested after 2:30 PM. See the law library website for a description of the library collections.

Please note that the library is currently in the process of moving pre-1990 books to offsite storage. Please see the circulation desk if you have difficulties locating these titles.

International Law Books
International law covers the relationships between countries and includes international relations and international organizations. International law books in the law library are classified according to the Library of Congress Classification System. For more information on this system, see the Library of Congress Classification System page on the library website.
Foreign Law Books
Most of the library's foreign law collections are arranged in the Schiller Classification System. In the Schiller System, call numbers begin with the country code, for example Af Tun for Tunisian law and Ger for German law. More details are available at the Schiller Classification System page on the library website. The collection of materials from the United Kingdom and some other commonwealth countries such as Australia and Canada, are generally classified according to the Library of Congress Classification System. Just as with domestic law books, some early British law primary source materials are classified according to the Hicks Classification system.
Domestic Law Books
Most of the law library’s domestic law collection is arranged according to the Library of Congress Classification System. Call numbers beginning with the letter K are most common since Class K covers the majority of law. A small amount of the collection, early primary source original materials, is classified according to the Hicks Classification system.
Pegasus is the catalog of the Arthur W. Diamond Law Library. The catalog provides a register of all of the materials, books, journals, microform, videos, and databases) that the law library owns or licenses. You may search the library catalog in a variety of ways.
If you know the specific item that you are looking for, the best way to search is by title or author. Choose the method by clicking on the search options box and then choosing either title or author from the dropdown menu. You may then enter the title of the book (excluding articles such as the, an, a, etc.) or the name of the author (last name, first name) in the search box to the right.
When you are not sure what you are looking for, it is often helpful to start with a keyword search. You can also use a subject search if you feel comfortable that you know what exact subjects used in the catalog (subjects are assigned to books by catalogers using a controlled vocabulary).

Columbia University Libraries

To find books in the rest of the Columbia University Libraries you can use CLIO. Clio includes the Columbia University Libraries (CUL) catalog.

CLIO includes the holdings of most of the Columbia University Libraries. Most Law Library materials are also cataloged in CLIO. However, it is better to use Pegasus to ensure that you see both the most up-to-date information on Law Library holdings, as well as the most complete information since some items may not always appear in CLIO.

To look for materials beyond Columbia, search for books at other libraries using WorldCat. WorldCat allows you to search the collections of libraries in your area and around the world. There are over 10,000 libraries that have listings in WorldCat. There are over 402 million bibliographic records in WorldCat. The Diamond Law Library is a member of OCLC and WorldCat and can borrow materials from other University libraries throughout the country through Interlibrary Loan. For more information, see the Reference Librarians.

Books Online

Some texts and treatises are available in full-text online. Sometimes the books are exact PDF facsimiles of the printed work, and other times, there is only html text available. WestlawLexis, and Bloomberg Law all have many secondary sources available in html format. These items are not cataloged in Pegasus so you would need to go to the individual database to see what is included. HeinOnline and Making of Modern Law Legal Treatises 1800-1926 also have access to many PDF copies of books. These items are cataloged in Pegasus.