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Arrangement of Print Collections in the Law Library

This page explains the different locations within the law library, what materials we house in each, and how you can find them.

What's a "Special" Collection?

"Special Collections" refer to a number of small collections maintained by the law library which have value to the UW community or to Washington legal researchers, such that we house them in restricted areas like an archive. Researchers may use materials in these collections but they may not be removed from the library facility. Please inquire at the Information Desk if you are interested in accessing any of the below collections.

Condon Collection

John T. Condon, the first Dean of the University of Washington School of Law, donated his private library of legal materials to become the core of the new school’s Law Library. While many his books have been integrated into the Law Library's main collection, some treatises and early Washington primary legal materials have been retained in this special collection.

Microform Special Collection

Cold storage area on L2 for brittle and degrading acetate microfilm and microfiche.

Nuremberg Trials Collection

Includes over 1000 volumes of mimeographed transcripts and proceedings of the Nuremberg War Crime Trials (1946-49). The Office of the U.S. Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, Document Division, distributed a limited number of sets to libraries around the country. (Other copies are housed at the Library of Congress, Harvard University, Columbia University Law Library, among others.) These materials are rare and fragile, so they are kept in a nonpublic area and you need to make special arrangements to use them. The Harvard Law School Library has posted a digital document collection of the Nuremberg Trials.

Oversize Special Collection

Includes books larger than folios that are not rare but are difficult to handle; in addition, some are fragile.

Rare Folio Special Collection

As the name indicates, this section of the Law Library houses books that are rare — for example, it includes hundreds of British and American texts published before 1800 and an edition of the Institutes of Justinian published in Venice in 1495 (Institutiones de Tortis, KBD0.C67I57 1495 at Special Collections Rare Folio). ("Folio" indicates that the book is too tall to shelve with regular-sized books and is shelved in a separate area within Special Collections.) Because these books are often fragile and valuable, you need to make special arrangements to use them.

For a description of several of the rare items in this collection, see the document below.

Russian Special Collection

Contains Russian session laws, covering 1649-1913.

Washington Special Collections

Includes a variety of Washington State publications, shelved in a nonpublic area for security. Some of them are duplicates of material in the Reference Area or the Classified Stacks. Some of them are rare.