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Congress established the Law Library in 1832, recognizing the need for ready access to reliable legal materials. The Law Library has grown over the years to become the world’s largest law library, with a collection of more than three million volumes spanning the ages and covering virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

Law. 1898 The Administrative Office of the Law Division in the Library of Congress. 1935

Comprehensive geographically, the collection also spans all periods of law, from the most ancient and primitive to the most contemporary and sophisticated. All systems of law – common, civil, customary, religious and socialist – are represented, as are all topics within the law.

On a selective or representative basis, the Law Library also collects legal periodicals and their indexes, treatises, law school theses and dissertations, legislative histories, and publications of bar associations.

The Law Library of Congress serves a wide range of functions, some better known than others. The Law Library provides research and reference assistance, oversees the preeminent legal collection available, and houses an international staff of foreign law attorneys.

In 1932, a group of prominent attorneys and jurists organized the Friends of the Law Library of Congress to encourage awareness and support of the Law Library, contribute to its collections and sponsor programs that promote a better understanding of law.

The Global Legal Monitor is an online publication from the Law Library of Congress covering legal news and developments worldwide. It draws on information from the Global Legal Information Network, official national legal publications, and reliable press sources.

The Law Library of Congress regularly celebrates law-related observances such as Constitution Day and Law Day. In 2008, in honor of Law Day, it hosted a panel discussion on “The Rule of Law in Established and Emerging Countries.” The June issue of the Library of Congress Information Bulletin featured an article on the event.

The Law Library has put together a research guide on Law Day in addition to guides on other commemorative observations with legal underwriting.

The Library has also archived its Law Day celebrations as webcasts for 2006, 2007 and 2008.

A. Law. 1898. Prints and Photographs Division. SUMMARY: Drawing for mosaic by Frederick Dielman in the Jefferson Building, Library of Congress. Reproduction Information: Reproduction No.: LC-USZ62-93618 (b&w film copy neg.); Call No.: Unprocessed in PR 06 CN 292 [item] [P&P]

B. The Administrative Office of the Law Division in the Library of Congress. 1935. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction No.: LC-USZ62-108259 (b&w film copy neg.); Call No.: LOT 5760 <item> [P&P]