Thursday, August 1, 2013

A New Look for LLMC Digital

The database LLMC Digital contains a treasure trove of digitized primary and secondary legal sources, drawn from the collection of the Law Library Microform Consortium. Of particular interest to users of the Goodson Law Library are LLMC's collections of official state court case reporters, since the library's print copies are in off-site storage. LLMC also includes session laws; historical legal treatises; agency opinions and reports; court records and briefs from New York and California; and a growing collection of foreign and international legal materials, which is particularly strong for Canada and the United Kingdom.

However, LLMC Digital was sometimes overlooked by researchers due to its previously difficult-to-navigate web interface and limited search functions. Today, though, LLMC Digital unveiled a brand-new design which simplifies searching, browsing and accessing its rich collection. The new site provides a streamlined catalog search, the familiar jurisdictional browse menu, and a citation retrieval box with pre-loaded source abbreviations.

Navigating through an individual source in LLMC still presents some difficulties, compared to other legal PDF repositories like HeinOnline. Although page arrows allow you to easily browse through a source on the screen, users who wish to download or print a particular section (such as a single opinion within a case reporter) must manually specify the page range first. This can be a frustrating process for particularly long documents, especially when compared to Hein's handy table of contents sidebar which divides the individual cases and session laws for easier download.

Still, LLMC's new interface is a welcome improvement, and hopefully will increase usage of this valuable library resource. A new "Special Featured Collections" section on the home page includes illustrations and photographs designed to provide historical context for selected text-based collections, and may help users discover some new and interesting materials within the database.

LLMC Digital and many other options for digitized legal research materials can be found in the Goodson Law Library's research guide to Finding Legal Materials in PDF. For assistance with using the new LLMC interface, be sure to Ask a Librarian.