FCIL-SIS Timeline: 1985 to 2005

Created for the AALL Centennial in 2006.

July 1985[1] FCIL Special Interest Section created. The first Chair is Claire M. Germain.[2] FCIL-SIS incorporates the AALL Special Committee on International Placements as a permanent subcommittee.
July 1986 FCIL-SIS members first sit together at the AALL meeting luncheon.
1987 Vol. 1, No. 1 of the FCIL Newsletter (then un-numbered) is published. The editor from this issue until October 1988 is Dan Wade.[3]
1987 The SIS elects Maria Smolka-Day as its first Secretary-Treasurer.
July 1988 The Latin American Law Librarians become a Working Group of the SIS. This Working Group becomes the model for other such groups, which become the Interest Groups.
1988 The SIS passes resolution on “taking necessary steps to formalize specific recommendations to the AALL to deal with the problem of the decreasing number of qualified candidates to fill vacancies in foreign and international law librarians.”
October 1988 Mila Rush takes over the editorship of the Newsletter. Dan Wade, then-SIS Chair, expresses his hope that “our SIS will sponsor a number of working groups to meet … around selected topics.” He lists law collecting from Africa and from the Soviet Union. Dan reports that SIS membership has increased to 260, a “substantial increase” over 1987, and notes “many new foreign members, especially Canadians.”
1989 Ellen Schaffer sends members a Foreign Law Survey to assess foreign law collections.
1989 Dan Wade surveys librarians on what foreign law librarians and specialists do. His results are presented at a meeting of the National Legal Resources Committee of AALL.
1989 Law Library Journal publishes the report of the AALL National Legal Resources Committee. This report targets the training of the next generation of civil, international, and comparative law librarians and information specialists as one of two educational priorities for law librarians.
1989 The SIS has “about 300” members. Membership Committee is created. Working Groups include Latin American Law Librarians (Dan Wade), African Law Working Group (Victor Essien), and Soviet Law Working Group (Blanka Kudej).
1990 Pre-AALL workshop: AALL Summer Institute “International Law: The Basics and Beyond.”
1990 Education Committee and Program Committee merge to become Education/Program Committee.
July 1991 Pre-AALL meeting workshop: National Legal Resources Committee sponsors a one-day workshop to discuss training of foreign and international law librarians.
1991 Ellen Schaffer’s survey on international and foreign law collections is published as Directory of Foreign Law Collections in Selected Law Libraries.
April 31,1991 Lyonette Louis-Jacques and Mila Rush launch the INT-LAW electronic discussion group, which is designed to provide “a way to communicate among ourselves quickly and informally, to sound out ideas with others in the profession, and to get immediate responses from the field.”
  New working group on Teaching Foreign and International Research is established.
May 1992 The National Legal Resources Committee, chaired by Claire Germain, publishes a plan approved by the Executive Board in April, titled “Training Foreign and International Law Librarians: The Next Generation.” The plan calls for conducting a sequence of five institutes over a three-year period, covering all areas of foreign and international law. The 1993 Winter Institute, “Introduction to Foreign Legal Systems,” co-directed by Richard Danner and Marie-Louise Bernal and presented at the Library of Congress on February 3-6, 1993, is the first course to be offered.
1992 Chair Mila Rush uses her column in the Newsletter to suggest extending “some form of recognition to our colleagues who travel from foreign countries to attend our Annual Meeting.” She and Jonathan Pratter tentatively plan a “hospitality period” as part of the SIS business meeting. This idea develops into the Reception for Attendees from Abroad.
October 1992 Newsletter contains results of survey on FCIL Members’ job titles, type of institution, education, experience, training, and language proficiency, compiled by David McFadden. 
1993 Electronic Issues Group is created, with the stated goal of “get[ting] a handle on rapid developments in electronic technology that affect the work of the SIS.
July 1993 First “social hour” with foreign visitors immediately after the SIS business meeting, called Hospitality with International Colleagues.
1993 “Adopt-a-Flag” program is launched to distinguish the SIS AALL Exhibit table. The project solicits members to donate money to allow the SIS to buy country flags.
February 1993 AALL Winter Institute on Foreign Legal Systems is held. This institute is the first of five sponsored by AALL and Oceana.
February 1993 Newsletter contains results of Lyonette Louis-Jacques’s survey on teaching FCIL research. This effort is the precursor to the SIS webpage on FCIL Legal Research teaching materials.
July 1993 AALL Summer Institute on International Organizations
July 1994 AALL Summer Institute on Transnational Legal Transactions
July 1994< FCIL-SIS Reception for Attendees from Abroad is renamed (from Hospitality with International Colleagues).<
1994< With the assistance of Washburn University Law School, the Newsletter becomes available on the web.
July 1995 AALL Summer Institute on International Business Law: Legal Transactions in a Global Economy.
July 1995 The SIS celebrates its tenth anniversary at Business Meeting. Claire Germain gives a brief history of the SIS. Commemorative pens are distributed.
July 1996 AALL Summer Institute on Public International Law
July 1996 Jonathan Franklin initiates alternative lunch for SIS members not attending the AALL lunch.
1997 Anne Burnett creates first SIS webpage.
1997 Newsletter moves to AALLNET.
1998 Strategic Planning Committee, chaired by Margareta Horiba, is created.
Spring 1998 FCIL-SIS electronic discussion group debuts, moderated by Mila Rush.
July 1999 First “private” SIS program is held, at which Ruth Bird discusses Australian law and legal research. This program becomes the prototype for “Executive Committee Presents…” programs. 
July 2000 Term “Interest Groups” substituted for “Working groups” to dispel perception that attendance was open only to members actively working on specific projects.
2000 Interest Group on Teaching Foreign, Comparative and International Legal Research gets its own website, created by Christine Corcos.
December 2000 Ellen Schaffer creates Foreign Librarian’s Grant, named the Ellen Schaffer Foreign Librarian’s Grant by Jean Davis, then SIS chair. Tracy Thompson chairs the first FCIL-SIS Grant Committee.
June 21, 2001 Sania Battalova of Kyrgyz Republic is announced as the first recipient of the Ellen Schaffer Foreign Librarian’s Grant.[4]
July 2001 Chair Jean Davis inaugurates the “Spirit of the SIS” award.
October 2001 The Newsletter is distributed electronically for the first time.
2002 Interest Groups include African Law, Asian Law, CIS and East European, Clearinghouse for Internships and International Personnel Exchanges, Electronic Issues, Latin American Law, and Teaching Foreign and International Legal Research.
2003 Tracy Thompson organizes “Host a Foreign Law Librarian Attending AALL 2003,” an effort to provide designated librarians to help welcome and orient foreign attendees.
2003 Dan Wade, on behalf of the SIS, drafts proposal for new series of FCIL workshops to be held in conjunction with AALL annual meetings.
2003 SIS three-year Strategic Plan (2003-2006) is created.
April 2004 The SIS sponsors AALL Professional Development Online Forum: Where in the World Did You Find That? Exploring Foreign and International Law Librarianship.
July 2004 First of several new FCIL workshops, Shopping in the Global Marketplace: Information Sources for International Trade, is held before the AALL meeting.
2004 Redesigned SIS website debuts on AALLNET, with substantial work from student member Ann T. Davey.

Appendix 1: FCIL Chairs, 1985-2005
Term Chair
1985/86 Claire M. Germain
1986/87 Linda Thompson
1987/88 Ellen Schaffer
1988/89 Daniel Wade
1989/90 Tim Kearley
1990/91 Janet Zagorin
1991/92 Amber Lee Smith
1992/93 Milagros Rush
1993/94 Jonathan Pratter
1994/95 Lyonette Louis-Jacques 
1995/96 Francisco Avalos
1996/97 Margareta Horiba
1997/98 William McCloy
1998/99 Maria Smolka-Day
1999/00 Katherine Topulos
2000/01 Jean Davis
2001/02 Tracy Thompson
2002/03 Kenneth Rudolph
2003/04 Jean Wenger
2004/05 Mirela Roznovschi

Appendix 2: FCIL Newsletter Editors, 1987-2005
Term Editor
March 1987 Dan Wade
October 1988 Mila Rush
October 1991 Dan Wade
October 1993 Ken Rudolph
October 1997 Anne Burnett
October 2001 Stephanie Burke
October 2004 Annette Demers
October 2005 Amy Burchfield

Appendix 3: Foreign Librarian’s Grant Recipients, 2001-2005
Term Recipient Country
2001 Sania Battalova Kyrgyz Republic
2002 Yemisi Dina [5] Bahamas
2003 Emmanuel Darkey Ghana
2004 Milagros Santos-Ong Philippines
2005 Irma Aladashvili Georgia


[1] The FCIL-SIS evolved from an AALL committee. In 1941, AALL created the Committee on Cooperation with Latin-American Law Libraries. In 1950, this committee became the Committee on Foreign Law. By 1965, it had added “and International;” 1977 saw the addition of the word “Comparative.”

[2] For a list of all chairs through 2005, see Appendix 1.

[3] For a list of all Newsletter editors through 2005, see Appendix 2.

[4] For a list of all Foreign Librarian’s Grant recipients from 2001-2005, see Appendix 3.

[5] Ms. Dina was unable to attend the annual meeting due to visa problems.