Roy M. Mersky, 1925 – 2008

Hall of Fame Induction: 2010

Significant AALL Service

  • President, Law Librarians of New England, 1959
  • Chair, Committee on Application of Mechanical and Scientific Devices to Legal Literature, 1963–64
  • Chair, Joseph Andrews Bibliographic Award Committee, 1972–73
  • Chair, Index to Legal Periodicals Committee, 1977–78
  • Chair, Program Committee, AALL Institute, 1977–78
  • Chair, Special Committee on National Law Library, 1982–86
  • Chair, National Legal Resources Committee, 1986–88
  • Member, Special Committee on the Renaissance of Law Librarianship in the Information Age, 1994–96

Professional Honors and Awards

  • Scribes Outstanding Service Award, 1994
  • Life Member of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, 2002
  • Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award, 2005
  • University of Wisconsin Madison School of Library and the Information Studies Alumni Association’s Centennial Celebration Alumnus of the Year Award, 2006
  • AALL Presidential Certificate of Merit, “for his exemplary leadership, service and dedication to law libraries and legal research, and for his championship of the law library profession to the legal community,” 2006
  • Frederick Charles Hicks Award for Outstanding Contributions to Academic Law Librarianship, 2008
  • Spirit of Law Librarianship Award, 2008 (since renamed in his honor)
  • AALL Hall of Fame, Inaugural Class Inductee, 2010

Selected Publications by the Inductee

  • “Selected Materials on the Literature of Bankruptcy,” Vanderbilt Law Review 15 (1961): 227–39.
  • “The Literature of Partnership Law,” Vanderbilt Law Review 16 (1963): 389–99.
  • “Introductory Essay on the Literature of Future Interests,” Vanderbilt Law Review 17 (1964): 1457–66.
  • Water Law Bibliography, 1847–1965; Source Book on U.S. Water and Irrigation Studies: Legal, Economic and Political. Silver Spring, Md.: Jefferson Law Book Co., 1966 (with J. Myron Jacobstein).
  • “Checklist of Publications of Legal Ethics Opinions,” Law Library Journal 59 (1966): 300–15 (with Muriel Hoppes).Law Books for Non Law Libraries and Laymen: A Bibliography. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana Publications, 1969.
  • “Rating Supreme Court Justices,” American Bar Association Journal 58 (1972): 1183–89 (with Albert P. Blaustein).
  • A Manual on Medical Literature for Law Librarians: A Handbook & Annotated Bibliography. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Glanville Publishers, 1973 (with David A. Kronick and Leslie W. Sheridan).
  • Ervin H. Pollack’s Fundamentals of Legal Research. 4th ed. Mineola, N.Y.: Foundation Press, 1973 (with J. Myron Jacobstein).
  • “International Cooperation: A Critical Need for Bibliographic Control of Legal Materials,” International Journal of Law Libraries 5 (1977): 139–48.
  • The Supreme Court of the United States: Hearings and Reports on Successful and Unsuccessful Nominations of Supreme Court Justices by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Buffalo: William S. Hein & Co., 1977– (with J. Myron Jabobstein).
  • The First One Hundred Justices: Statistical Studies on the Supreme Court of the United States. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1978 (with Albert P. Blaustein).
  • “Legal Implications of the Arab Economic Boycott of the State of Israel: A Research Guide,” Law Library Journal 71 (1978): 68–76 (with Michael L. Richmond).
  • “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Law Libraries but Were Afraid to Ask or the Care and Feeding of Law Librarians or Libraries Are Too Important to Leave to Librarians or Ubi Libri Ibi Scientia (Where There Are Books, There Is Knowledge),” Journal of Legal Education 29 (1978): 139–47.
  • “Computer-Assisted Legal Research Instruction in Texas Law Schools,” Law Library Journal 73 (1980): 79–98 (with John E. Christensen).
  • Fundamentals of Legal Research. Mineola, N.Y.: Foundation Press, 1977 (with J. Myron Jacobstein). [subsequent editions in 1981, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2009; with Donald J. Dunn, 1994–2009; Steve Barkan, 2009].
  • “An Analysis of Academic Law Library Growth Since 1907,” Law Library Journal 75 (1982): 212–24 (with J. Myron Jacobstein & Irene Berkey).
  • Congressional Intent and Legislative Histories: Analysis or Pschoanalysis?” Law Library Journal 82 (1990): 297–301 (with J. Myron Jacobstein).
  • A Documentary History of the Legal Aspects of Abortion in the United States: Webster v. Reproductive Health Services. Littleton, Colo.: Fred B. Rothman & Co., 1990 (with Gary R. Hartman).
  • The Spirit of Law Librarianship: A Reader. Littleton, Colo.: Fred B. Rothman & Co., 1991 (with Richard A. Leiter).
  • “The Value of Business-Related Information in the Academic Law Library,” Law Library Journal 83 (1991): 109–16 (with Christopher Simoni).
  • “Rating the Justices,” Law Library Journal 84 (1992): 113–16 (with Gary R. Hartman).
  • “AALL and the Road to Diversity,” Law Library Journal 85 (1993): 859–66.
  • The Rejected: Sketches of the 26 Men Nominated for the Supreme Court but Not Confirmed by the Senate. Milpitas, Calif.: Toucan Valley Publications, 1993 (with J. Myron Jacobstein).
  • A Documentary History of the Legal Aspects of Abortion in the United States: Roe v. Wade. Littleton, Colo.: Fred B. Rothman & Co., 1993 (with Gary R. Hartman).
  • A Documentary History of the Legal Aspects of Abortion in the United States: Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Littleton, Colo.: Fred B. Rothman & Co., 1996 (with Gary R. Hartman).
  • “Law and Popular Culture in the Film Collection at the Tarlton Law Library,” Legal Studies Forum 22 (1998): 109–18.
  • Jury Size: Articles and Bibliography from the Literature of Law and the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Littleton, Colo.: Fred B. Rothman & Co., 1998 (with M. Myron Jacobstein).
  • “Comparative Observations on Doing Legal Research in Australia and the United States,” Australian Law Librarian 7 (1999): 175–81 (with Jonathan Pratter).
  • A Documentary History of the Legal Aspects of Abortion in the United States: Colautti v. Franklin. Littleton, Colo.: Fred B. Rothman & Co., 2000.
  • A Documentary History of the Legal Aspects of Abortion in the United States: Griswold v. Connecticut. Littleton, Colo.: Fred B. Rothman & Co., 2001 (with Jill Duffy).
  • A Documentary History of the Legal Aspects of Abortion in the United States: Stenberg v. Carhart. Littleton, Colo.: Buffalo, N.Y.: William S. Hein & Co., 2003 (with Tobe Liebert).
  • The First One Hundred Eight Justices. William S. Hein & Co., 2004 (with William D. Bader).
  • Landmark Supreme Court Cases: The Most Influential Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Facts on File, 2004 (with Gary Hartman and Cindy Tate Slavinski).
  • The Spirit of Law Librarianship: A Reader. 2d ed. Chicago: Alert Publications, 2005 (with Richard A. Leiter).
  • “J. Myron Jacobstein—Law Librarian Extraordinaire,” Law Library Journal 97 (2005): 625–28.
  • “Legal Research versus Legal Writing within the Law School Curriculum,” Law Library Journal 99 (2007): 395–401.
  • “Memorial: Donald J. Dunn (1945–2008),” Law Library Journal 100 (2008): 601–06.

Selected Publications about the Inductee

  • Shirley Hart David, “Three Named as Recipients of Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award,” AALL Spectrum 9 (June 2005): 18–19, 27.
  • Allegra Jordan Young, “Roy Mersky and the Future of Libraries,” UT Law 4 (Winter 2006): 26–33.
  • Rosalie Sanderson, “Octogenarian Innovators Behind (or in Front of) Academic ‘Firsts’ List,” ALL-SIS Newsletter 25 (Summer 2006): 14–18.
  • Roy M. Mersky: An Oral History Interview, interviewed by William J. Chriss. Austin, Tex.: Jamail Center for Legal Research, University of Texas at Austin, 2008.
  • In Memoriam: Roy M. Mersky,” Memorial Resolution of the Faculty Council, University of Texas at Austin, 2009.

Professional Positions

  • Private practice of law, Wisconsin, 1952–54
  • Research Associate, Municipal Reference Library, Milwaukee, 1953–54
  • Chief, Readers and Reference Services, Yale Law Library, 1954–59
  • Director, Washington State Law Library, 1959–63
  • Professor of Law and Law Librarian, University of Colorado, 1963–65
  • Harry M. Reasoner Regents Chair in Law and Hyder Centennial Professor of Law and Director of Research, University of Texas at Austin, Jamail Center for Legal Research, Tarlton Law Library, 1965–2008 (first law librarian to hold named professorship, 1984)
  • Interim Director, Hebrew University, Jewish National & University Library, 1972–73
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Texas Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 1976
  • Visiting Prof. and Acting Director, New York Law School Law Library, 1982–84


  • B.S., University of Wisconsin, 1948
  • J.D., University of Wisconsin, 1952
  • M.A.L.S., University of Wisconsin, 1953

Selected Professional Activities & Achievements (outside law librarianship)

  • Admitted to practice, Wisconsin, 1953
  • Admitted to practice, Texas, 1972
  • Admitted to practice, New York, 1983
  • President, American Civil Liberties Union, Austin Chapter, 1968–69
  • Member, American Law Institute, 1984–2008 (first law librarian member of ALI)
  • President, Scribes (American Society of Legal Writers), 1991–93