African Americans in the Law | Civil Rights | East Asian Legal Studies | Environmental Law | Federal Government Documents Collection | Foreign and International Law | Health Law | Intellectual Property | Law in Film | Maryland | Special Collections

The Thurgood Marshall Law Library contains over 400,000 volumes of Anglo-American legal materials as well as outstanding international and foreign law collections. Extensive collections of both primary sources and secondary materials such as treatises are available. Areas of particular strength are those that comprise a major component of the law school curriculum or where there is substantial faculty research, including environmental law, health law, intellectual property, international law, law in film, German law, homeland security and terrorism, and East Asian legal studies. The Library has been a selective depository for United States government documents since the 1970s and receives many of the law-related documents that are published. Several of these important collections are highlighted below. As always, please be sure to check the Catalog or speak with a librarian if you have any difficulty locating material in your area of interest.

African Americans in the Law Special Collection

The African Americans in the Law Special Collection seeks to document the development and growth of the African American legal community in Maryland from 1877 to date. The Library will accomplish this through the acquisition, cataloging, arrangement and preservation of original manuscripts, both personal and professional, that reflect the unique challenges and exceptional contributions of African American legal practitioners. Organizational records, rare books and secondary sources will also be acquired. Major collections include the Legal Papers of Dallas Nicholas and William Gosnell, The Papers of the NAACP, The Papers of William H. Hastie, the papers of Baltimore activist Lena Lee, and The Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Collection.

Civil Rights

The Thurgood Marshall Law Library has long been committed to collecting materials devoted to the study of civil rights law. As such, the Library has amassed a unique collection of print and electronic materials on civil rights. In addition to a rich collection of treatises and practical legal works on civil rights law such as Schwartz's Section 1983 Litigation and Kushner's Government discrimination: equal protection law and litigation the Library holds a rich collection of publications from the United States Commission on Civil Rights, many of which have been converted to electronic form. This collection includes material not found on the Commission's own Internet site. Another highlight of the collection is the Papers of the NAACP on microfilm. Numerous electronic resources are available including a collection of e-books from netLibrary and LexisNexis' Primary Sources in U.S. History: African American History. The Library receives all of the major law reviews devoted to civil rights law and research.

East Asian Legal Studies

The East Asian Legal Studies Collection is an integral part of the Thurgood Marshall Law Library. It was collected and donated to the Library by Prof. Hungdah Chiu, professor emeritus at the Law School and Director of the East Asian Legal Studies Program. The focus of this collection is the legal history of post World War II China with an emphasis on the Republic of China (Taiwan). Over 1,300 titles from this collection, most of which is in Chinese, have been added to the Catalog. Records have also been added to an international database (OCLC) to facilitate worldwide use by academics. Many of the titles in the collection are rare and often the Thurgood Marshall Law Library is the sole owner in the United States.

Environmental Law

To support the law school's nationally-ranked specialty program in environmental law, the Thurgood Marshall Law Library has an extensive collection of treatises, loose-leaf reporters and journals. The collection contains a wide variety of sources on environmental issues in Maryland, the United States, as well as international issues in environmental law. The two main loose-leaf reporters, the Environment Reporter and the Environmental Law Reporter, are available in paper format on the 2nd floor of the Library. In addition, the Library has subscriptions to these two reporters, as well as the Toxics Law Reporter, in electronic format. The Library subscribes to a wide variety of journals specializing in environmental law, including several published by law schools and by the American Bar Association, and many of these are available electronically as well. To supplement these resources the Library has subscriptions to the online databases InsideEPA and ScienceDirect, which provide access to a wide variety of scientific journals. Researchers may access all of the environmental law databases via Research Port. The Library staff has also created a specialty page on Environmental Law, which contains links to many free websites on all aspects of environmental law.

Federal Government Documents Collection

The Thurgood Marshall Law Library is a selective federal depository library. Items chosen reflect the research needs of law faculty and law students. Material in the Government Documents collection is published in paper, micro format, and in electronic form (CD-ROM and electronic data files). In addition, there are many free government Internet sites that are valuable resources for locating government information. Many of these may be located via the Library's Federal Resources Specialty Page. All of the documents that the Library currently receives can be located by searching in the Catalog.

Foreign and International Law

The Thurgood Marshall Law Library contains an extensive collection of foreign and international legal materials to support the research interests of the law school faculty and students and to provide core sources of information for courses offered in the law school. The collection of foreign legal materials is rich in primary sources in French, German and United Kingdom law. In addition to information available in paper, the Library also has access to a wide variety of electronic databases that supply both full-text and indexing information on foreign and international topics to Library users including the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals and the Public Affairs Information Service (PAIS).

While the Library collects a wide range of materials in the area of international law, it concentrates on acquiring materials such as treaty collections, United Nations documents, human rights materials and European Union law to support faculty and student research. Databases such as the Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO), Hein Treaties and Agreements Library, and the United Nations Treaty Collection also help to round out the collection. The Library maintains print and electronic subscriptions to over 150 journals covering topics related to comparative, foreign and international law.

Health Law

The Thurgood Marshall Law Library maintains an extensive collection of health-related legal materials. This material supports student and faculty research and the law school's nationally ranked specialty program in Law and Health Care. The collection is particularly comprehensive in the areas of general health care law; death and dying; bioethics, genetic privacy and discrimination; and health care finance. The Library also maintains extensive subscriptions, both print and electronic, to many of the leading journals covering health and health law topics such as the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics and the School of Law's own Journal of Health Care Law and Policy. As a government depository, the Library receives a number of health-related federal publications, such as the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) Review, that are housed in the Health Sciences and Human Services Library on campus. All of this material can be located in the Catalog.

In addition to information available in paper, the Library also has access to a wealth of electronic databases that supply both full-text and indexing information on health and health law topics. Library staff have developed an online collection of health-related reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), an arm of the United States Library of Congress, and maintain a Health Law Specialty Page.

Intellectual Property

The Thurgood Marshall Law Library has an extensive collection of intellectual property resources. The collection encompasses American, international and foreign law materials and is available in both print and online resources. The leading treatises on American IP issues, including Epstein on Intellectual Property and Chisum on Patents, can be found in print on the 2nd floor of the Library. International and foreign intellectual property items are located on the 4th floor of the Library. There are a variety of intellectual property journals, such as AIPLA Quarterly Journal and the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Law Journal, that can be found in the periodical collection housed on the 1st floor.

The Library also provides access to various online resources in the field of intellectual property, including BNA's Intellectual Property Library which contains access to the USPQ. Access to all of the electronic databases on IP is via Research Port.

Law in Film

The Library maintains a collection of video tapes that address the image of law in the popular media and in traditional documentaries. Among the holdings are law classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Twelve Angry Men as well as works of more recent vintage such as My Cousin Vinny, Rabbit-proof Fence and A Civil Action. Documentaries cover a range of legal issues and include a number of productions from CNN, Sixty-Minutes and the History Network. Additionally, the collection includes in-house recordings of lectures, presentations and special events held at the Law School. A smaller section of the collection is devoted to legal education and includes audio-tapes such as "May it Please the Court" and video-based guides like the Robert Berring series on Legal Research for the 21st Century. The multi-media collection also contains approximately 50 audio cassettes pertaining to various points of law. All of the items within this collection must be used in the Library, and media carrels equipped with VCRs, monitors, cassette players and headphones are available. Additionally, the study rooms on the 3rd floor of the Library have televisions and playback equipment.


The Maryland collection is a comprehensive collection of both scholar and practitioner-oriented material, although self-help type publications are generally not purchased. All of the core primary sources of Maryland law are held in complete sets: the Maryland Code (both the LexisNexis and West editions), the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), the Maryland Register, the Maryland Reports, the Maryland Appellate Reports, the Atlantic Reporter, and the Code of Baltimore City and all the codes for Maryland counties. Additional sources include the Laws of Maryland (from Colonial times), the Maryland House Journal and the Maryland Senate Journal (from 1927), bills filed with the General Assembly (from 1967), Legislative Bill Files (from 1976), and superseded editions of the Maryland Code. The Library has all the records and briefs associated with cases decided by the Maryland Court of Appeals and the Maryland Court of Special Appeals from 1948 through the present. The collection of law-related Maryland journals is complete and includes copies of the Daily Record from its inception in 1888. The Library maintains an extensive collection of current and historical secondary sources, including MICPEL publications, treating all aspects of Maryland law.

Terrorism and Homeland Security

The Library supports the work of the University's Center for Health and Homeland Security through the acquisition of print and electronic materials that focus on terrorism and homeland security. Because this body of law is undergoing considerable interest and development, relevant material is found in both traditional and non-traditional legal works. Many of the items in the collection are produced by the federal government and are available in both print and in electronic form through the Library. The Library also has more than 1,000 books devoted to the topic, including Caleb Carr's The Lessons of Terror: a History of Warfare Against Civilians; Mark Sidel's More Secure Less Free: Antiterrorism Policy and Civil Liberties after September 11; and, Peter Shearman's European Security after 9/11. Relevant electronic databases and tools include Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO); Public Affairs Information Service (PAIS); and, the MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base. Additionally, Library staff has created an in-house database of Congressional Research Service reports devoted to terrorism and homeland security.

Special Collections and Digital Projects

Named for Judge Frederick W. Brune (1894-1972), the Brune Room houses the Thurgood Marshall Law Library's collection of rare legal books from all eras of American history. The Brune Room's primary resource, the Donaldson Collection, consists of legal literature from the colonial period through the 19th century. The rare book collection also holds a complete collection of early Maryland statutes, material on the history of the University of Maryland School of Law, a collection of material written by the Law School's founder David Hoffman, and a collection of materials related to African Americans in the law. For more information about the collection please visit the Library's special collections site.

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