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Take Time to Escape

September 4, 2015

Law school involves a lot or reading. Cases, journal articles, treatises, hornbooks, nutshells, your outline.  You have papers to write, articles to edit, sources to find, and research to conduct.  Some of the reading is interesting.  Some of it – not so much.  It’s law school and kind of what you expected.  But remember those pre-law school days, when you took the time to read things that interested you.  Mysteries, drama, romance, thrillers, or that latest graphic novel – that moment of escape into another world.  You want to do that again but don’t see how you are going to have the time to go to the public library and pick up that book.

We have an easy option available for you.  That option is interlibrary loan.   Use it to request anything you want. If there is a library out there in the world willing to lend it, we will find that library.  Search GW Worldcat Discovery for the item.  Once you have found it, click on the “request through interlibrary loan” button.    Then sit back and leave the work to us.   All you have to do is come to the library and pick up the item when we contact you.  Then go sit someplace comfortable and have you moment of escape.

Our Burns Law Library Welcome guide and our guide Services @ the Jacob Burns Law Library have more information about our services for GW Law students.

National Book Festival, Saturday Sept. 5

September 2, 2015
2015 Book Festival

The Library of Congress National Book Festival takes place on Saturday, September 5, 10 am – 10pm at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  This year marks the 15th year for the Festival.

Meet authors, have copies signed and visit displays by the Library of Congress (including one from the Law Library of Congress).  There’s even an app for the Festival!

World Intellectual Property Day

April 22, 2015
World IP Day 2015

April 26 is World Intellectual Property Day, marking the date when the World Intellectual Property Organization Convention came into force in 1970. World Intellectual Property Day was established in 2000 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a self-funding agency of the United Nations whose “mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property (IP) system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all.” World IP Day offers an opportunity each year to join with others around the globe to celebrate innovation and creativity and how IP fosters and encourages them.

The theme for this year, as announced by WIPO, is “Get up, Stand up. For music,” based on the popular reggae song written by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh that has become an anthem for human rights.

Learn more about World IP Day:

WIPO’s World IP Day site includes links to a global map of World IP Day activities and to a message about World IP Day from WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.

The United States Copyright Office is partnering with the Copyright Alliance to host a program in recognition of World IP Day on Tuesday, April 28, at 10:30 a.m. in the Montpelier Room (6th Floor, James Madison Memorial Building, Library of Congress). “The presenters will discuss a number of interesting music issues, including how musicians and composers are creating in the modern age, the Copyright Office’s recent music licensing study, and novel issues that arise in the registration process for sound recordings and compositions.”

Enjoy World IP Day, and stand up for your music!

Emancipation Day

April 14, 2015

April 16 marks the passage of the District of Columbia Emancipation Act of 1862.  The Act ended slavery in the District, freed those held as slaves, compensated those who had legally owned the freed slaves and offered money to newly freed slaves to emigrate.  The Act ended what abolitionists called the “national shame of slavery” in the nation’s capital.

The Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves held in Confederate states, was not effective until January 1, 1863.  Slavery was finally abolished with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment on December 6, 1865.

Emancipation Day is celebrated in the District every April 16 with a parade and other events.

17th Amendment

April 8, 2015

On April 8, 1913, the direct election of United States Senators was authorized by ratification of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution.  Previously, the Constitution required election of Senators by state legislatures.  The election of Senators by legislatures was a compromise between the drafters of the Constitution, known as the Connecticut Compromise.  The House would be directly elected by the people and representatives would be apportioned by population of each state.  The Senate, which would represent states equally with two Senators from each state, would be elected through a more deliberative process in state legislatures.

However, by the late 19th Century, the process for electing Senators had bogged down in some state legislatures.  The rise of the Progrerssive movement also pushed for direct election of Senators.  With calls for a Constitutional Convention to make changes to the Constitution, in 1912 Congress finally agreed on a joint resolution for the proposed amendment for direct election.  The amendment was sent to state legislatures and ratified a year later.

Hugo Grotius

March 17, 2015

The Hugo Grotius display is the first in a series of library displays in which we will be providing little-known information about famous legal figures.

Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) is widely known as “the father of international law,” but he was also imprisoned for his anti-Calvinist writings in 1619. After 20 months of his imprisonment, during which he was allowed shipments of books and linens from home, his wife arranged for his escape by boring holes in the book trunk and hiding him in it. Because the guards were so accustomed to her frequent visits, they stopped inspecting the trunk, and Grotius fairly easily made his escape.

Among the items displayed is the very rare, original 1619 trial court sentencing document, The sentence of eternal imprisonment pronounced against Hugo Grotius in the extraordinary trial for laesa maiestas, Rotterdam, May 18, 1619.

The Library’s Grotius collection is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the country.  For more information, see an overview of our Special Collections.

The library display is located on the first floor, near the circulation desk.


Congratulations to Our Lawlapalooza Kindle Winner

February 12, 2015

We’re pleased to announce that our 2015 Lawlapalooza Kindle winner is Jonathan Bialosky.  Scott Pagel, Director and Professor of Law, presented Jonathan with his Kindle.  Find out more about Lawlapalooza 2015.

Thanks to all who attended our research fair and made it a great success!


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