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Guide to the USC Law Library Collection

Introduction

The following are descriptions of each of the library's subcollections. The USC Law Library web page contains a library map that you can view to see where these collections are located.

The books in most of the collections mentioned below are non-circulating. Only secondary sources in the 3rd Floor Stacks can be checked out of the library by members of the USC community.

Closed Reserve

The Closed Reserve collection is located behind the Circulation/Service Counter near the library entrance. Selected high demand items and course reserve materials are housed in Closed Reserve. Closed Reserve materials can be checked out (for library use only) for 2-hour periods of time.

Open Reserve

The Open Reserve collection, which begins on the 3rd floor against the north wall straight across from the elevator and ends in the movable book stacks at the south end of the floor contains most of the library's updated federal and multi-jurisdictional secondary sources (treatises, study guides, practice guides, form books, and looseleaf services). These sources can be very useful in helping you understand the law and find references to relevant cases and statutes. The sources are arranged by subject (in call number order).

Reference Collection

There are a few reference sections in the library that contain legal and law-related reference books, including directories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and citation manuals:

  • The Ready Reference section, located in the Closed Reserve materials behind the Service/Circulation Counter, is where most of the library's reference books are kept.
  • The Reference Collection is where the library's larger sets of reference books are kept.

Microform Room

The library's microfiche/microfilm collection is located Room 218. Please ask a reference librarian for assistance. This collection consists largely of U.S. Congressional documents from 1970 to the present, U.S. Supreme Court briefs, a few major U.S. legal newspapers, and state session laws from all 50 states (mostly from the 1980s). There is a microform reader/printer that can be used to view and/or print these materials.