The law library provides many resources and services to academics and historians across the globe. We can help you find information and archival documents on old Louisiana cases or biographical information for judges and attorneys. Our rare books collection is unparalleled in its scope of early Louisiana law and legal history. We also have an extensive number of books and serials on Louisiana legal history. Please contact the library in advance if you wish to visit the rare books collection. You can also visit our research guides on Louisiana legal history, including guides on the history of Louisiana codes and on famous Louisiana cases, and on European legal history.
Some highlights from the rare books collection include:
Many of the volumes in the Rare Book and Special Collections rooms are valuable legal and/or historical documents. Some of the volumes are hundreds of years old. The utmost care must be given to ensure that the volumes in these locations are handled properly. Infrequent handling of the volumes will extend their longevity and reduce the risk of loss and/or damage. Authorized persons handling fragile books are to wear disposable white cotton gloves when necessary, or clean hands with alcohol wipes, both of which the library will maintain a supply. The following guidelines have been developed to ensure comprehensive risk management compliance.
Rare Book Room Tours
The Law Library’s rare book collection is a point of interest during the Court’s building tours, which vary in frequency. In order to limit exposure and handling of the books in the Rare Book Room, all tour requests must be made with the Louisiana Supreme Court Public Relations department, which will, in collaboration with the library, determine if access to the Rare Book Room is warranted. No more than 10 persons at a time may gather in the room, and visitors must be aged 18 or older.
Use of Materials
Researchers are not allowed to use Rare Book Room materials that can be accessed in other formats (digital, fiche, etc.) or have reprints shelved in the stacks. Exceptions must be granted by the Director. Researchers must make an appointment in advance with the Director or the Associate Director to use materials in the Rare Book Room.
When the researcher arrives for an appointment, they must check in with the Administrative Assistant or the Director. Please note: researchers who wish to use a digital camera to take photos of materials must make such a request at least 24 hours prior to his/her arrival so that Security can be notified to allow the camera into the Court.
Researchers will use requested materials in the reading room area. A staff member will pull the materials the researcher requests. The researcher will be asked to clean their hands with disposable alcohol wipes prior to handling books if needed. Furthermore, disposable gloves will be provided for the researcher’s use as necessary, depending on the fragility, rarity, or value of the materials used.