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Source Collection

For law-student editors and other researchers who are editing articles, checking citation format, and collecting sources.

Source collection - ILL Q&A

Will the Law Library borrow books from other libraries for cite-checking?

Yes. But there are a few caveats.

  • Shorter loan periods are possible. Loan terms—including how long we can keep the book—are set by the lending library. 
  • Account numbers matter. Journal editors need to use the journal Account Number for cite-checking work. This can help prevent duplicate book orders, and it allows all editors to see what's already been checked out to the journal.
  • Notes are important. When you come pick up your book, we use that information to find it for you. Tell us
    1. your name, and
    2. the name or topic of the issue.

What happens to journal-account books when they get to the law library?

  • When a book gets here, email is how you're notified.
  • Books are stored behind the service counter. Ask at the counter for yours whenever the library is open. To find your book, we'll need
    1. your name, and
    2. the name or topic of the issue.
  • Scanners are available in the law library, including one that's designed for quickly scanning books.
  • We return books to the lending library when they're due. We make sure books stay in the Law Library for as long as possible, so that every editor who needs them can use them.
  • When a book needs to go back, email is also how you're notified - 7 days before the final due date. Come in and complete your cite-checking before the due date, so you don't have to order it again.

Are there step-by-step guides to borrowing from another library?

Yes indeed. The overview below is great on a small screen, and the PDF below has big pictures.

Can I "rush" my ILL request?

Not really. But you can add a Note to let us know if you're in a hurry.

However, do not use the "Need by date" to ask us to rush a request. That's where you tell a date where you really won't be able to use the book. For example, if you're leaving the country in a week to study abroad for a semester, so you won't be able to pick up a book that comes after your departure.

Are there any types of sources that I can't borrow via ILL for cite-checking?

Yes. Check your manual for the most up-to-date guidelines for specific types of materials. Generally, the Law Library will not borrow the following types of materials from other libraries for source-collection work:

  • Federal Appendix volumes. You can't borrow Federal Appendix volumes in print via ILL. Instead, use the online version from West.
  • Foreign-language material. You should not borrow foreign-language material unless editors will be able to read it. Make sure that editorial staff (or campus colleagues) will be available to read materials in foreign languages before requesting print material through ILL.
  • Microfilm periodicals. You can't borrow microfilm copies of newspapers or journals via ILL for cite-checking. Instead, use and cite articles from a commercial electronic database or the Internet.
  • Out-of-date editions of books. Bluebook Rule 15 has guidelines for which edition to cite, including guidelines for pre-1900 works. Make sure you're following the Edition guidelines in Rule 15, and include a note in the ILL request if an out-of-date edition is needed.
  • Online works that follow Rule 18. You can't borrow a print version of a work that is available electronically in a format that is authenticated, official, or an "exact copy." Instead, use the electronic version.
  • State statutes that we don't have in print. You can't borrow current state statutes in print via ILL. Instead, cite commercial electronic database or Internet versions of current state statutes from states that are not represented in our print collection.

Ask a law librarian about borrowing via ILL if you have an exceptional need to consult a print version of one of the sources above.