Good to Know: Harvard digitizing case law collection

For all the budding lawyers out there, WBUR has a write up on a digitization project going on at Harvard:

Historically, libraries have been collections — books, multimedia materials and artwork. But increasingly they’re about connections, linking digital data in new and different ways. The Caselaw Access Project is a state-of-the-art example of that shift.

“So what’s going to result from this project is a huge database of electronic, digital court decisions,” Ziegler explained. “And the world of law has never seen that before.”

I like the idea that all of the case law will be freely accessible (far more so than the books that are in storage currently.) And per the article, the physical books will still be kept in storage should anything go wrong.

Digital Resources: Online Library of Liberty

The Library received a donation several years ago comprising a large portion of the Liberty Fund catalog. Poli sci major and history lover that I am, I could happily spend months reading my way through. I remember seeing their booth on the exhibit floor of ALA annual the year I was able to go. They had a beautiful 2 volume set of the works of James Wilson and I bought it as fast as humanly possible (And who is James Wilson? The most important founding father you’ve never heard of, and I swear I will write his biography one of these days).

At the time, they were happy to sell a set that must have accounted for a decent chunk of the shipping bill. They threw a few CDs into my bag as well, telling me it was a large portion of their collection in eBook form. I was still very much in the print only realm, so I thanked them and moved on. When I finally started to get into eBooks, I messed around with the digital library but never found a good way to get a handle on eBooks and PDFs.

Fast forward to now: Google books is my go to reader, with a heavy assist from Overdrive and the public library collection. Google, of course, will allow you to sideload PDFs into the app and there you are. Sadly, my Wilson and my CD are a country away with the rest of my book collection (to the everlasting delight of my parents, who are graciously storing said book collection.) I decided to poke around, as my cyclical interest in the American founding is picking up steam.

To my everlasting delight, the whole thing is online! And now I share it with you: The Online Library of Liberty. Don’t let my love of politics scare you away; the works available span Ancient Asia, Greece, and Rome to modern day thinkers across a variety of disciplines. You can download works in a variety of formats, including PDFs, ePubs, and Kindle format. I like the ePubs a bit better than Project Gutenberg; they’re cleaner and neater, as you’d expect from a larger organization. Project Gutenberg has, of course, a much larger range and is worth your time as well.