Exploring the Past at the Library

The Riverside County Law Library is a place many history buffs might never think to go. In fact, all three of our locations offer a wonderful variety of historic documents and information that would be appealing whether or not you have a particular interest in the law.

Both our Indio and Riverside branches offer the book History and Directory of Riverside County 1893-94. This is a great little book; giving descriptions of settlements within the county in the last decade of the 1800s complete with reprints of business ads, photos, and address directories.

Those interested in early California law can read the reports of the first session of the California Supreme Court  and see how the justices sought to interpret extant Mexican laws in a new American state in cases such as Mena v. Le Roy (1850) 1 Cal 216, and Von Schmidt v. Huntington, (1850) 1 Cal. 55.

Want to get right to the basis of our laws? The reference section also carries the book Constitutions of California and the US with Related Documents where you can read the foundations of our state and national laws as well as the Magna Carta and Mayflower Compact.

Our public computers offer the database HeinOnline in which historical documents have been uploaded in their original form. If you’ve just watched a movie about the Vietnam War or read a book about WW2, you can scroll through the declassified Pentagon Papers or peruse the compilation of Presidential Documents from 1965-present. Want to delve further back? You can read President Lincoln’s lesser known speeches or read about the time he was sued for nonpayment on a horse. Still not far enough back? HeinOnline has even made available the Statutes of King Henry III (1207-1272) in the original Latin and translated into English as well as other obscure gems.

News buffs can read the original cases still frequently talked about such as Roe v. Wade, (1973) 410 US 179, or Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) 135 S Ct. 2584, the Supreme Court decision that legislated marriage equality, or read the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in its original wording (52 USC §10101.) These and other cases of interest can be found in book form, where you can read them at one of our desks or tables, or online on Westlaw (available wirelessly or at one of our computers) or LexisNexis.

There is a wealth of information to be found at all three branches of the Riverside County Law Library so set some time aside to visit us and explore.

~Laura Whyte
Indio Library Assistant


By Laura

January 12, 2017

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