Foreign Collections Database--Update
by Linda Tashbook
This past December, when my law school very quickly switched its Web presence to an off-site server and re-designed the entire look of the Web site, I had to pull down the Foreign Collections Database. This database was a rudimentary compilation of tables showing which U.S. law libraries held fundamental primary foreign law materials. Some of you may recall my survey of FCIL-SIS members to collect the initial information for the project. After that, a library assistant and I went through Reynolds and Flores's Foreign Law: Current Sources of Codes and Legislation for Jurisdictions of the World looking for the proper names of foreign law sources. Then we checked in WorldCat to see which libraries owned each source.
Despite all of this careful work and my sincere belief that this would be a much-needed union list, the database never really got much use in its three-plus years online. Since replacing it last winter with a simple "call me for the answer to your question" page, I've only had two inquiries. I now wonder what would make a new version of the database better for you or whether I shouldn't even replace it at all.
User Input Needed
If you ever used the database and were grateful to have it available or if you never used it but you want to have such a resource for future reference, will you let me know? As long as you're getting in touch with me anyway, will you tell me how you want the information presented. Would you like to see a country's entire source list at once? Do you want to sort by fields like "statutory codes" instead of searching only on a per-country basis? I realize that many libraries collect in subject categories, rather than jurisdictions, should we try to identify those topic specialties in this database? Dan Wade has wisely recommended adding the titles of major treatises for each country. I would like to include that if I rebuild the database.
Thank you, in advance, for any thoughts you care to send me about this prospective project. You may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412/648-1303.