Nobody could be unmoved by the tragic scenes from Haiti after the massive 2010 earthquake. It is likely that many of us gave generously to the immediate aid efforts. Still, as we know, bringing long term hope to that stricken people will take multiple efforts on thousands of fronts. In this global effort it makes sense that all parties do whatever they can do best. What we law librarians currently do best is build digital law libraries. So LLMC and a group of its member libraries have decided that the most worthy and logical focus for our Law Library Community’s attention would be to help rebuild Haiti’s law libraries in first class fashion, using every digital option now available. The goal of this project is to pool our resources, combining the strengths in our respective collections. The following describes how each LLMC member library can assist in its completion.
In order to launch a cooperative, collection-melding project like this, it’s essential to start with a Master Title List of targets for scanning. To do that we needed to recruit some “heavy hitter” libraries, institutions with collections rich enough to provide a solid bibliographic baseline for comprehensive collection development. The Law Library of Congress (LC) and Columbia University Law Library (CLL) volunteered to take on that role. The other menu item under this “Haiti Project” Tab contains a Master Title List that resulted from merging the bibliographic data from LC and CLL. LLMC is using this Master Title List, updated in this spot weekly, as the template for tracking the scanning of the original targeted titles, and to record additions to the list provided by other libraries able to contribute unique items not already listed.
The real potential behind the Haiti Legal Patrimony Project is the opportunity to combine the scattered resources of law libraries around the world. To get that process going, over 13 libraries have agreed to sponsor the project by canvassing their collections to see if they have unique titles to contribute; i.e., titles not yet listed on the Master Title List. These Public Sponsors for the project include: Barbados Museum & Historical Society Lib., Cornell U.L.L., George Washington U.L.L., Harvard U.L.L., Univ. of Hawaii Lib., Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Lib., Los Angeles Law Lib., Oxford U.L.L., Saint Louis U.L.L, U.S. Army JAG School Lib., York U.L.L., and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative & International Law libraries in Hamburg and Heidelberg.
Once our Public Sponsors finish their contributions, the Haiti Legal Patrimony Collection will have moved a long way toward completion. But everything we know about how this type of project evolves tells us that it won’t be 100% complete. There’s always the odd item that fate has relegated to a resting place in the collection of some totally unexpected library. So please consider joining the team behind this magnificent effort. Please volunteer to canvass your public catalog to see if you happen to have something for Haiti that has not yet made it onto the attached master spreadsheet.
If your library is considering helping in this project, you may feel daunted once you look at the Master Title List and contemplate wading through over 440 titles (and growing) and trying to match them against your holdings. This could be especially tedious since many of the titles are quite similar to one another. However, we believe that a few minutes spent eyeballing the organization of the Master Title List will reveal that the checking can be fairly simply once the scheme is understood. All of the titles identified on the list have been organized into the following six subject sections:
Legislative and Administrative section
U.S. Documents and Treatises
The coding (in Column A) further breaks down the titles in each subject section by class and then by date or author. Thus, the person doing the checking need only decide into what category their title fits, and then its date or author. In a large number of cases that will be sufficient to quickly determine if one has a likely match to the title as described in detail in Columns F, G, & H.
If you do have a match, then Columns B & C will reveal if some other library is already serving as a source for that title. Column D will tell you; either, by entry of a 5-digit LLMC number, if the title has already been scanned, or, by a legend, why that library’s copy hasn’t yet, or can’t be, scanned. Column E reveals if LLMC still needs a paper copy as archival backup in its LIPA Print Archive.
If you do not have a match, then that means that you have a unique item that could add richness and completeness to this collection. If you do find such an item, please contact the LLMC Content Manager Jerry Dupont at
Even if your library does not have any unique items that could help to enhance our Haiti Legal Patrimony Project, there is still a way in which you can associate yourself with this historic project and help move it to a timely completion. Many of your colleagues have adopted individual titles by giving monetary donations at a level of $100.00 per volume. LLMC will memorialize the donations by acknowledging the donor with a permanent “electronic bookplate” published online in front of the title page of the book adopted. Please consider joining the colleagues who have already joined this effort. They are listed in Column I of the Master Title List. That column also indicates which titles are still available for adoption. Donations are tax-deductible, and should be directed to LLMC, Haiti Patrimony Project, P.O. Box 1599, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA. Questions in this department can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading “Haiti Project.” Thank you very much.