Welcome to a brand-new blog series titled, “Database Spotlight.” In each blog under this series, we will take a deep dive into one of the ten legal databases offered here at RCLL. In this first installment, we’re going to be looking at LLMC Digital. And it just so happens that RCLL recently hosted an informative webinar all about the database! What follows is a brief description of all that was learned during that webinar.
On January 27th, 2023, the Riverside County Law Library held an online informative webinar, “Getting to Know LLMC Digital.” The webinar, led by Joseph Hinger, Director of Global Legal Initiatives for LLMC (Law Library Microform Consortium), provided much insight into one of RCLL’s lesser-known legal databases, LLMC Digital. Joseph opened the webinar by describing the overall mission of LLMC:
“LLMC is a non-profit cooperative of libraries dedicated to the twin goals of preserving legal titles and government documents, while making copies inexpensively available digitally through its on-line service LLMC-Digital. LLMC provides libraries with a reliable and budget-friendly source of digital replacement when their older, physically deteriorating books became too burdensome to store given diminished use. While aiding libraries in their preservation and space recovery programs, it also provides an economical way to complete retrospective collections.”
One of the main points that I was taken aback by was the amount of content available on LLMC Digital. As of this writing, LLMC Digital boasts an impressive collection containing 29,026 titles; 154,179 online volumes; 92,727,505 online images; 420,829 California records and briefs; 15,154,863 California records and briefs pages; and 2,269 serials. Joseph explained how the collection is constantly growing due in part to its more than 500 donors (known as members). Many of these members are universities in 21 countries that include 92% of America’s law schools such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Stanford, as well as 100% of the US Federal Court’s extensive network of law libraries. Any library that wishes to donate historical legal materials is encouraged to do so by reaching out to LLMC (email@example.com).
The “real meat” of the webinar revolved around getting to know the types of resources included in a subscription to LLMC Digital. Joseph went on to give attendees a tour of the collections in LLMC Digital which includes historical legal materials from all the world, Indigenous law, religious legal materials, military law, comparative law, and much more. I quickly realized how easy it would be to get lost while browsing the multiple collections and subcollections. One neat feature you may notice while browsing is that each document contains a thorough description and holding information statement prior to viewing it. This statement, created by LLMC, summarizes the document you are about to view while also mentioning where the document came from. This information is especially relevant to historical researchers who are trying to piece together a story. An example of a description and holding statement is displayed below (click on image to enlarge):
While browsing on LLMC Digital, you may notice that three particular collections are highlighted on the homepage. These collections include the open access, Indigenous law portal, and the “Rights!” collections. Joseph described each collection as being a relatively new initiative to LLMC. The open access collection contains unrestricted access to select titles. The Indigenous law portal provides access to global Indigenous materials including links to tribal websites. And lastly, the “Rights!” collection provides access to materials and online resources under the topic of civil and human rights laws. The “Rights!” collection is particularly appealing to me as it includes many resources under the broad umbrella of civil rights including resources on racial, gender, employment, health, housing, and religious rights. In short, there’s plenty to explore in this database!
The webinar ultimately ended with Joseph saying that the work of LLMC is only growing. Through future collaborations, LLMC can continue its mission to preserve historical materials and make them accessible.
Written by: Michael Van Aken, Electronic Services Librarian