Elizabeth Geesey Holmes
University of Georgia
Marie E. Whited
Yale Law School
Where does one find information on law classification? I don't know about you, but even though I took both Basic and Advanced Cataloging in Library school, I found myself ill-prepared for the rigors of the K classification schedules. So where should one turn for this information? First there is the classic A Manual on KF: the Library of Congress classification schedule for Law of the United States by Patricia L. Piper and Cecilia Kwan. Though published in 1972 this remains the classic work on the KF schedule, and it includes a chapter on form division tables. It's still available from Hein if your library does not own a copy and you can order it through AALLNET at http://www.aallnet.org/products/pub_series.asp. Other key articles on Law classification are: Werner B. Ellinger's "Classification of Law at the Library of Congress, 1949-1968" from Law Library Journal v. 61, no. 3 (Aug. 1968), p. 224-236, and Martha M. Evans's "A History of the development of classification K (Law) at the Library of Congress" from Law Library Journal v. 62, no. 1 (Feb 1969), p. 25-39. For those of you with subscriptions to HeinOnline these are easily available via the web.
For information on more recently published K schedules consult Jolande Goldberg's various articles. Her Library of Congress Classes JZ and KZ: Historical Notes and Introduction to Application was published as a booklet by the Library of Congress Cataloging Distribution Service in 1997. For information on the religious law schedules see her introduction to the KBR and KBU schedules available on the web (http://lcweb.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/kbintro.pdf) and her recent article in the International Journal of Legal Information, v.29 (2001), p. 465-, "Religious Law in a Secular Setting: New Classification Approaches for Jewish, Canon and Islamic Law." Her articles "Library of Congress Law Classification: The Regional Schemes" from Law Library Journal v.79 (Winter 1987), p.67-91 and "Library of Congress Classification System for German Law: A New Approach" from Law Library Journal, v.74 (1981), p.619-, are also readily available. For more insight into the German law schedules see her article in the International Journal of Law Libraries, v. 9 (1981) p.145-, "Classification of German Law at the Library of Congress: A Study in Comparative Law." She has also written on the KK schedule in the festschrift Parlament und Bibliothek = Parliament and Library published by Saur in 1986.
AALL programs on classification and their audio tapes are another valuable resource. These are available to purchase for AALL programs from 1994 to the present (ordering information is on AALLNET), or your library may have some in its collection. A few months after beginning work as a law cataloger I was able to attend a mini-workshop for law catalogers held the Saturday morning before the 1994 Seattle Annual meeting which included a session on classification using the KF schedule. This was held concurrently with a session on the new KL-KWX schedule for the "Law of the rest of the world" which had just been published. Although I couldn't attend this in person I purchased and listened to the tape and found it invaluable.
Lastly, don't forget the prefaces to the K schedules themselves – and of course the "Classification" column in Technical Services Law Librarian. I re-read these going back quite a few years in preparation for this column and found lots of valuable information. You can also consult your colleagues on the TS e-discussion list, or ask your Classification columnists!
Finally, if you are going to the Annual Meeting in Seattle, don't forget to attend program H-2: Judaic and Islamic Classification: Envisioning Access and Order for Legal Topics of International and Nonjurisdictional Scope. Elisheva Schwarz of New York University Law Library and Lesley Wilkins of Harvard University will be discussing the new religious law schedules. This session will include a brief overview of the schedule development process followed by a hands-on practicum. It is geared to both reference and technical services librarians with responsibility for Judaic and Islamic law, so invite your public services colleagues to attend as well. If you can't make it to Seattle consider purchasing and listening to the tape!