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History of the Law Library of Louisiana

The historical roots of the Law Library go back to 1838, when Act No. 93 of the state legislature called for the creation of a State Library to be housed in the State House, located in New Orleans. The Secretary of State was appointed to be in charge of the library, which was open to all state residents, but books only circulated to legislators. One of the duties of the Secretary of State was to print and distribute Louisiana law materials, such as the Civil Code and state acts. Eventually the Law Library became associated with the Louisiana Supreme Court and was housed with the Court. Governor E. D. White, who signed the act creating the law library, sent a written communication to the state legislature, stating, “We already have some of the elements of a library; our own salutary laws and generals; the laws of the different States and of Congress; the various public documents and works illustrated of the political history of the country, copies of which are usually furnished to the State. These volumes are constantly accumulating; they are very useful sources of reference and ought to be carefully preserved.” The Law Library changed locations numerous times since 1838 and now has returned to a previous location at 400 Royal Street in New Orleans, where the library and the Louisiana Supreme Court were located from 1910-1958.