Reference Area

The Reference Area is located near the entrance to the Library on Floor L1. The entrance to the Reference Area is between the Circulation Desk and the Reference Office.

The Reference Area map illustrates the arrangement of material by call number and locations of the current law reviews, the scanner and printer alcove, public computers (for legal research only), and the microfiche and microfilm cabinets.

Consult the Browser's Guide to Reference Area for call numbers for selected titles and subject-based materials.


The Reference Area contains a well-rounded, but selective working collection of primary sources for U.S. and Washington State law and key secondary sources. In general, material located in the Reference Area cannot be checked out to take home. UW School of Law students may check out Reference Area material for 4 hours. Visit the Circulation page for more information.

Primary Law Sources

Secondary Sources

Material in the Reference Area is arranged by call number.


Microfiche & Microfilm

Cabinets containing microfiche and microfilm are located in the Reference Area, north of the Circulation Desk. Most materials are in call number order; periodicals are in alphabetical order. A reader/scanner workstation for microfiche and microfilm is available in a carrel adjacent to the Reference Office and the Circulation Desk in the Reference Area. This machine allows users to create PDF images of pages and then download (to a personal USB drive) or email them.

Catalog records refer to this location as Reference Area Microfiche and Reference Area Microfilm.

These collections include:

  • Congressional materials such as bills, hearings, and committee prints (see the Gallagher guide on Federal Legislative History for more information about these materials)
  • U.S. Supreme Court and Washington appellate court briefs
  • continuing legal education materials
  • student papers
  • legal newspapers

Microfilm is an older format that is no longer extensively used. Many of the Library's materials in microfilm are from the 1960s and 1970s. They include some theses and dissertations on legal topics from university students around the world, early volumes of a few periodicals, and copies of older treatises.

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