0 Replies Latest reply on Apr 28, 2021 9:33 AM by Law Library of Congress

    Join Our Newest Crowdsourcing Campaign: Historical Legal Reports from the Law Library of Congress

    Law Library of Congress Wayfarer

      Calling all students of history, government, law, public policy, international relations, and other interested members of the public – help us expand access to hundreds of previously unreleased legal reports and other publications from the Law Library of Congress dating back to the 1940s!


      We are excited to launch the Law Library’s second crowdsourcing campaign: Historical Legal Reports from the Law Library of Congress.


      A major function of the Law Library of Congress is the preparation of reports on legal topics, with an emphasis on foreign, comparative, and international law, in response to requests from Congress, the executive and judicial branches of the federal government, and others. The Law Library has authored thousands of reports from the 1940s to the present, many of which are available through the Library’s print collection. Recently, the Law Library began a multi-year effort to digitize and publish some of our previously unreleased historical reports in order to make them fully accessible to researchers and other members of the public. Although this phase of the crowdsourcing campaign includes only a sample of the recently released reports, you can also browse the latest collection of digitized historical reports here in the Library’s digital collections framework.


      Reports in this campaign include recently digitized reports covering a wide range of legal topics from regions across the globe. The reports in this phase of the campaign mostly reflect legal research and analysis from the 1960s-1980s, with some exceptions. Broken down into 24 projects, such as Civil and Human Rights, Intellectual Property, and Constitutional Issues, there is something for everyone in this collection. and we hope to release many more historical reports through this campaign in the coming years.


      Many of these newly available reports have been digitized from thin, carbon copies that and have not been found in any other printed format. These often represent the only known remaining versions of the reports. Although they are still quite legible, the poor print quality makes their digitized characters difficult for optical character recognition. That’s why we need you, our volunteers, to help us to provide accurate transcriptions of these original documents and ensure full-text searchability for this new collection! Many of these reports have never been seen by the public, and they provide a fascinating look at the history of U.S. and foreign law and policy, particularly from the Cold War era.


      Visit crowd.loc.gov to explore this historic collection and try your hand at transcribing a report.