The Law Library was established in 1859 as part of the Law Department and continues to be "maintained and administered as a part of the instruction and research operation of the Law School." The library has been considered the "apparatus" of the Law Department and "the lawyer's laboratory." Indeed, this underlying view led the library to build a comprehensive collection that would provide "the means necessary for original investigation" and "permit scholars to do research work in any field of law, regardless of country or period." The collection development policy--to collect primary sources of law: statutes, civil law codes, court opinions, regulations, as well as books and treatises about the law for all countries of the world in the original, official languages--remains consistent with this view. The development of the Law Library from a small collection of 350 volumes housed in one room maintained by a law student to a major global collection of over a million volumes took place in distinct historical phases.
Publication Information & Recommended Citation
Garavaglia, Barbara H. "Law Library: 1859-2017." In Object Lessons & the Formation of Knowledge: The University of Michigan Museums, Libraries, & Collections 1817-2017, edited by Kerstin Barndt and Carla M. Sinopoli, 326-31. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2017.