Collection Development Policy for Law


While Old Dominion University does not have a law school, the law collection supports departments that offer courses on the legal aspects of their subject areas. It also provides historical and current legal and Congressional information for students, faculty, staff and the public. Appointed a selective federal depository in 1963, the library receives many legal publications. A primary focus of the law collection is to support research and instruction in the undergraduate pre-law program run by Professor Elizabeth Esinhart, as well a minor in public law within the political science department.  

History, sociology, international studies, sports management, education, and criminal justice are also frequent users of legal materials.  This collection serves the legal information needs of the community by making legal materials easily accessible to the general public who are welcome to use these resources within the library.

General Collecting Guidelines

Language Guidelines

English is the primary language for the law collection. Foreign language materials may be selectively purchased if recommended by faculty.

Geographical Guidelines

Most materials purchased for the law collection will have an emphasis on United States  and Virginia law. However, with the continued emphasis on globalization, and our graduate program in International Studies, materials will also be purchased to support international law interests.

Types of Materials

The bulk of the law collection consists of laws (statutes), regulations, and cases. At the federal level, the collection includes official and annotated versions of the United States Code.   Regulations published in the Federal Register and codified in Code of Federal Regulations are part of the depository collection.  The library purchases the U.S. Supreme Court Reports, Lawyer’s Edition.

At the state level, the collection consists of laws passed by the legislature, the Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and codified in Michie’s Code of Virginia.  Regulations are published in the Virginia Register and codified in the Virginia Administrative Code.  In addition to print, the Virginia Legislative System provides searchable databases for the previously mentioned resources.

State Supreme Court decisions are found in the Virginia Reports.  Cases for Virginia and surrounding states are found in West’s Southeastern Reporter.

The collection also includes some subject collections of cases and laws in areas of special interest such as education law, business law (accounting) and sports law. The collection includes monographs, serials, government publications and electronic resources. Major legal encyclopedias and dictionaries, legal research manuals and other legal reference materials may be acquired.

Some law materials are provided in electronic format. The library subscribes to several electronic databases that provide access to primary and secondary legal materials: LexisNexis Academic, LexisNexis Congressional, and CQ Weekly.  Many federal government legal publications are now online and are linked via the library’s webpage.

Date of Publication

Emphasis is on the purchase of current materials. Acquisition of retrospective materials, including out-of-print titles, is initiated as needs require. No preference is given to original printings over reprints.

Other General Considerations:

Related Subject Policy Statements:

Government Publications

Old Dominion University Library is a selective depository library for United States government publications. Government publications in print, microfiche and electronic formats are critical to the law collection, and contain primary sources important for legal research. Most notable are the United States Code, the Statutes at Large and Slip Laws.  Additional Congressional materials including the U.S. Serial Set, American State Papers, Congressional Globe, Congressional Record, Congressional hearings, committee prints and reports, reports to Congress on special topics, etc. provide materials focusing on legislative intent and debate.  Specialized government search engines such as GPOAccess, Thomas, and FirstGov facilitate access to government information on the web.

The Virginia Depository Library Program provides the library with print and electronic access relevant to Virginia laws and regulations.  Electronic resources are linked via the library’s webpage.

Area Resources

Area libraries that supplement the holdings of the Old Dominion University Library and are of interest and great help to students and the community are listed below.

Norfolk Law Library, Virginia Beach Law Library, Regent University Law School, William and Mary College of Law.

Collecting Codes

Discipline: Law
Bibliographer: Martha Higgins
Date 05/06

LC Class Subject Descriptors Collection
JF 8-195 Constitutional history 3 Essays, pamphlets
JF 201-619 Functions of gov’t. 3a
JF 751-786 Federal/state relations 3
JF 799-1177 Political rights 3b
JF1338-1900 Public Administration 3b
JF2011-2112 Political Parties 3a
JK 1-361 Constitutional history U.S. 3b
JK 401-1685 U.S. gov’t. admin. 3b
JK 1717-2248 Political rights 3b
JK 2255-2391 Political parties 3b
JK 2403-9593 Const. History – U.S. State 4 Only for Virginia
JL 1-3899 Const. History Brit/Latin America 2
JN 1-9689 Constitutional History Europe 4 EU Constitution
JZ2-6530 International Relations 4 Faculty research area
K 1-133 Law – general 3
K 140-165 History of law 2b
K 170 Law-biography 2
K 201-487 Jurisprudence 2
K 520-5582 Comparative Law 3
K7000-7720 Conflict of Laws 3
KBM Jewish Law 2
KBQ Islamic Law 2b
KBR Canon Law 1
KBU Catholic Law 1
KD Law of the UK 2
KDZ Law of America 2
KE Law of Canada 1
KF 1-450 Law of the U.S. General 3
KF U.S. Law 3
KF 889-1659 Business Law 3
KF 2915-3821 Nursing – Lawn and Legislation 3
KF 3989-4290 Sports Law 3 GV 713-740 also
KF 4209-4215 Special Education –Law and Legislation 3
KFV 2401-2999 Virginia Law 3b
KG Latin America 2
KH South America 2
KJ-KK European Law 2 Except KJE
KJE Regional Organization 3B EU organization and law
KL-KW Asia, Middle East, Africa 2 Except below
KMJ Law of Iraq 2
KNF Law of Afghanistan 2
KZ 1-6785 Law of Nations 3b Except below
KZ4850-5490 Intergovernmental Organizations 4
KZ5510-6299 International Law of Peace 2b
KZA Law of the Sea 3
KZD Space Law 1b

Government Documents

SuDoc Classification Title/Resource Collection
Y 1.2/5: year United States Code 4 Print and online
AE 2.111: Statutes at Large 4 Print; sel. online
AE 2.110: Slip Laws 3 Online
AE 2.106: Federal Register 4  Microfiche and online
AE 2.106/3: Code of Federal Regulations 4 Print and online
X 1.1: Congressional Record 4 Print, microforms, and online