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Government Documents

The UC Berkeley Law Library houses an extensive print and electronic collection of U.S. congressional and administrative materials.  Many of these documents were acquired by the Law Library through the Federal Depository Library Program, a program enacted into law by Congress (44 USC §1911) and administered by the Government Publishing Office.  The Law Library became a selective federal depository library in 1963. It is one of over 1,000 depository libraries in the U. S., and one of several Federal Depository Libraries in the San Francisco Bay Area. The closest other depository library is the Doe Library on the Berkeley campus, and documents that we do not collect are usually available there. The California State Library in Sacramento is our Regional Depository and houses the most comprehensive collection of federal government materials in the state.  The majority of depository documents that we receive are integrated into our general collection, they are fully cataloged and accessible through LawCat, our online catalog. All members of the Berkeley community, including students, faculty, staff, local attorneys and judges, and members of the public may use documents at all times the Library is open.

The primary function of the Law Library is to support research, teaching, and study by Law School faculty and students. The library also serves the entire UC Berkeley community by supporting the many law-related courses taught in other university departments. The library is open to the general public.  In addition to serving the needs of Berkeley campus users, the Library also provides law-related government information to the local community.

The library currently selects approximately 13% of the items available to depository libraries. Documents are collected in print and electronic formats. Our collection concentrates first on primary legal materials including court decisions, codes, regulations, regulatory agency decisions, treaties and Congressional publications. In addition, we collect agency publications dealing with environmental issues, intellectual property, judicial administration, taxation, international trade, employment discrimination, immigration and human rights. We collect publications dealing with specific acts, such as ERISA and the ADA, that are of interest to all of our users. We rely on the Doe Library on the Berkeley campus and on our Regional Depository at the California State Library to select in areas not central to our mission.

It is our policy permanently to retain paper copies of core titles such as the United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations in order to facilitate historical research. We provide links in our online catalog to electronic resources. We also provide links from our web pages to services such as GOVINFO.gov and Congress.gov.

U.S. Government documents are accessible to all users, including members of the public, at all hours the Library is open. See Library Hours for complete information.  The Library’s stacks are open to all users. All patrons are eligible to use our reserve and reference materials.  Reference assistance is available, check our webpage for a complete schedule of reference hours.

 

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