Monday, July 18, 2005

A-5 Visionary Collection Development : Strategies for building legal collections on emerging social issues (July 17, 2005)

This educational program was sponsored by the SR-SIS. The moderator was Courtney Selby and the coordinator was Larry Reeves. There were three panelists: Roy Mersky (Tarlton Law Library), Amy Atchison (UCLA Law Library) and Brian Keough (University at Albany-SUNY).

Roy Mersky spoke about the special collections held at the Tarlton Law Library. These special collections include but are not limited to: the papers of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark, the digital collection of the Texas Constitutions and Constitutional Conventions, the works of John Selden and the Selden Society, the Supreme Court photographs collection, and the law dictionary collection. But he mainly wanted to discuss a single collection in particular, the Law in Popular Culture Collection. This collection consists of some 4,000-plus print materials, artwork, over 700 AV materials as well as online resources such as a bibliography, collection of quotations and a resource list. You can find out more information about Texas’ numerous special collections at

Amy Atchison is a reference librarian with the UCLC Law Library. She is the librarian charged with the care and keeping of the Williams Project Reading Room and Collection on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy. An initial donation of 2.5 million dollars was made to create the Williams Project think tank devoted to LGBT issues. The think tank began as an idea in 2001, and the special collection arose from this in 2002-03. After much negotiation and hard work the collection became reality in February 2003 with an initial donation of 1 million dollars (from Mr. Williams and an anonymous donor). More information about the collection and the Project can be found at

Brian Keough is the archivist for the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives at University at Albany-SUNY which collaborated with the Capital Punishment Research Initiative (CPRI) to create the National Death Penalty Archives. As a part of their mission they have created the National Death Penalty Archives to gather and preserve the historical documents of individuals and organizations having to do with capital punishment. Some of the collections included in the archive are: the papers of Hugo Adam Bedau, the papers from the Capital Jury Project and the papers of Ernest Van den Haag. Please visit their website for further information.