The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Research & Litigation

New Law Gives Added Protections for Persons with Disabilities

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a new law on February 13, 2020 which gives more protections to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.  Chapter 19 of the Acts of 2020 establishes a registry for caretakers in Massachusetts who have been found to have caused serious physical   ...Continue Reading New Law Gives Added Protections for Persons with Disabilities
Categories: Research & Litigation

Únete a mejorar el acceso a documentos jurídicos españoles con la campaña Herencia

In Custodia Legis - Wed, 02/19/2020 - 12:11pm

Ordenanza Real del 26 de junio del 1741 sobre el pago de anualidades por la ciudad de Zaragoza en conformidad con las regulaciones de este tema. Aprobado y ratificado el 9 de octobre del 1734

[Haz clic aquí para la versión en inglés/Click here for the English version of this post.]

Nos complace presentarles Herencia: Centuries of Spanish Legal Documents, el primer proyecto de crowdsourcing dedicado a documentos en otros idiomas aparte del inglés. 

La Biblioteca Jurídica del Congreso te invita a ayudarnos a mejorar el acceso a nuestra colección única de documentos jurídicos históricos de España a través de la plataforma de crowdsourcing de la Biblioteca del Congreso, By the People (BTP). BTP es una plataforma virtual donde voluntarios con una conexión de internet pueden transcribir colecciones digitalizadas para mejorar su descubrimiento y uso mientras interactúan con los materiales.

Mediante una colaboración con nuestros colegas en la Sección de Gestionamiento de Colecciones Digitales, la División Hispánica, y la División Africana, Latinoamericana, y de Europa Occidental del Directorado de Adquisiciones y Acceso Bibliográfico, invitamos a los voluntarios a transcribir, revisar y etiquetar los materiales de nuestra colección de documentos jurídicos españoles con la meta de mejorar la capacidad de descubrir y leer los textos en español, latín y catalán.

La Biblioteca del Congreso ya ha lanzado múltiples campañas exitosas donde miles de voluntarios han transcrito casi 100,000 páginas de una variedad de documentos, como el diario de un soldado de la guerra civil estadounidense, cartas al presidente Abraham Lincoln, las cartas, los diarios y los discursos de líderes sufragistas como Susan B. Anthony y Mary Church Terrell y otras colecciones.

Herencia contiene documentos impresos y manuscritos de España desde el siglo XV hasta el siglo XIX. Como hemos publicado anteriormente, esta gran colección contiene decretos reales, bulas papales, opiniones legales, juicios y ordenanzas reales.

Con esta campaña, nuestro objetivo es transcribir los documentos, palabra por palabra, para que los investigadores puedan acceder a fuentes primarias con más facilidad. Tus transcripciones nos ayudarán a identificar nombres, lugares y fechas que faltan de las descripciones actualmente disponibles, al igual que otros detalles de interés que todavía están esperando ser descubiertos en los textos sin transcripción. Nos puedes ayudar con esta iniciativa especial participando como voluntario virtual. Este proyecto no requiere horario ni cualificaciones específicas. Tampoco tienes que crear una cuenta en BTP para transcribir, aunque los revisores si necesitan crear y acceder a su cuenta. Contribuye en los momentos que te sean convenientes. Es importante enfatizar que aunque es útil tener destrezas en otros idiomas, no es necesario hablar español, catalán o latín para participar.

Échale un vistazo a los materiales de la colección de Herencia. Todas las transcripciones se gestionan en la plataforma de BTP a través de crowd.loc.gov. Para más información acerca del proceso de transcripciones, visita nuestra guía de bienvenida.

By the People es la plataforma de crowdsourcing de la Biblioteca del Congreso para transcripciones. La Biblioteca Jurídica del Congreso pronto invitará voluntarios a transcribir, revisar y etiquetar documentos de nuestra colección de Spanish Legal Documents (15th – 19th Century) mejor conocida como Herencia: Centuries of Spanish Legal Documents

En preparación para el lanzamiento de estos documentos, estaremos ofreciendo dos webinars (seminarios en línea) para apoyar a los voluntarios de este proyecto. El primer webinar proveerá instrucciones sobre cómo identificar y transcribir los caracteres especiales en la colección. El segundo webinar te dará una noción sobre qué esperar en nuestro maratón de transcripciones que se llevará a cabo en línea y en persona. También explicará cómo planificar tu propio maratón de transcripciones. En el espíritu de Herencia, estos webinars serán presentados en inglés y español. Te exhortamos a que te registres por adelantado utilizando los enlaces aquí: 

Para celebrar el lanzamiento de esta campaña, tendremos un maratón de transcripciones en la Biblioteca del Congreso del 19 de marzo del 2020 a las 5:00 pm ET en el Great Hall del Thomas Jefferson Building. Proveermos computadoras y tendremos una exhibición de documentos de la colección. 

Los voluntarios están bienvenidos a participar en línea a través de crowd.loc.gov. Puedes unirte a la discusión en History Hub y Twitter (@LawLibCongress / @Crowd_LOC). Te agradecemos de antemano por todas las contribuciones valiosas mientras trabajamos para dar vida a esta colección de materiales únicos. 

Categories: Research & Litigation

Join the Library’s Herencia Campaign to Improve Access to Spanish Legal Documents

In Custodia Legis - Wed, 02/19/2020 - 12:11pm

Royal Order of June 26, 1741 concerning payment of annuities by the city of Zaragoza in compliance with the regulations on this matter, approved and ratified on October 9, 1734.

[Click here for the Spanish version of this post/Haz clic aquí para la versión en español.]

We are excited to launch, in late February, the Library’s first crowdsourcing project dedicated to papers in languages other than English, Herencia: Centuries of Spanish Legal Documents.

The Law Library of Congress invites you to help improve access to our unique collection of historic Spanish legal materials through the Library’s crowdsourcing platform, By the People (BTP). BTP is a virtual volunteering website where anyone with an internet connection can transcribe digitized Library collections to improve discoverability and use while engaging deeply with the materials.

Through a collaboration with our colleagues in the Digital Collections Management section, the Hispanic Division, and the African, Latin American, and Western European Division of the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate, the Law Library will invite volunteers to transcribe, review, and tag the documents in our Spanish Legal Documents (15th – 19th Centuries) collection, with the goal of improving the overall ability to search and read the full Spanish, Latin, and Catalan texts.

The Library has already launched several successful campaigns where thousands of dedicated volunteers have transcribed nearly 100,000 pages from a range of historic documents, such as an entire diary of an American Civil War soldier, letters to President Abraham Lincoln, the letters, diaries and speeches of leading suffragists such as Susan B. Anthony and Mary Church Terrell, and many more collections.

As you may know from our previous posts, Herencia contains print and manuscript documents from Spain from the 15th through the 19th centuries. Most of the collection items are in Spanish, Catalan, and Latin. Royal decrees, papal bulls, legal opinions, judgments, and royal orders are among the large variety of materials contained in this collection.

With this campaign, our aim is to transcribe the documents word-for-word so that researchers can more easily discover these primary source materials. Your transcriptions will help identify names, places, and dates missing from the descriptions currently available, as well as other details of interest to scholars that are still waiting to be discovered in the untranscribed text. You can help us with this special undertaking by participating as a virtual volunteer. No specific time commitment or qualifications are required. You do not even need to create an account to transcribe, although reviewers do need to log in. Contribute at your own pace and at times that are convenient for you. Another important detail to note is that, while foreign language skills may be helpful, you do not need to read or speak Spanish, Latin, or Catalan to participate.

Preview the Herencia collection items now. The transcription work will happen on the BTP platform at crowd.loc.gov. To learn more about how the transcription process works, visit the Welcome Guide.

By the People is the Library’s crowdsourcing platform for transcription. The Law Library will soon invite volunteers to transcribe, review, and tag the documents in our Spanish Legal Documents (15th – 19th Centuries) collection (Herencia: Centuries of Spanish Legal Documents)

In preparation for the first release phase of these documents later this month, we will offer two webinars to support volunteers working on this project. The first webinar will provide instruction on how to identify and transcribe the special scripts in the collection. The second webinar will be a primer on what to expect at our online/in-person transcribe-a-thon and how to hold a transcribe-a-thon on your own! In the spirit of the Herencia collection, these webinars, as well as other promotional materials and instructions, will be offered in Spanish and English. We encourage you to register in advance using the links below:

To celebrate the launch of this campaign, we will be hosting an on-site transcribe-a-thon here at the Library of Congress. On March 19, 2020, at 5 pm ET, we invite you to join us in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building. Laptops will be provided, as well as an exhibition of select documents from the Herencia collection.

Off-site but online? Volunteers are encouraged to participate on crowd.loc.gov, and to join in the discussion on History Hub and Twitter (@LawLibCongress / @Crowd_LOC). We look forward to your many valuable contributions as we work to bring this rare collection to life!

Categories: Research & Litigation

From the Serial Set: Before It Was Presidents’ Day…

In Custodia Legis - Tue, 02/18/2020 - 8:39am

The following is a guest post by Bailey DeSimone, a library technician (metadata) in the Digital Resources Division of the Law Library of Congress.

Correspondence between the Congress and the American public is essential in understanding legislative decision-making. Among the documents and journals of the Serial Set, we’ve discovered reprints of letters between Congress and the Washington family in regards to the famed first president of the United States.

Presidents’ Day was first observed as a federal holiday in 1885, in commemoration of George Washington’s birthday (February 22, 1732). That is why the official name of the holiday, although rarely used, is still “Washington’s birthday.” By his centennial birthday, Washington’s posthumous future was subject to much debate in Congress.

On February 22, 1830, Maryland Representative George Edward Mitchell proposed to relocate Washington’s remains to a “national entombment…in the Capitol, in the City of Washington.” (H.R. Rep. No. 21-318, at 2 (1830), reprinted in Serial Set Vol. No. 201). Mitchell drew upon previously approved resolutions from 1783-1799 for support. By this time, the Architect of the Capitol had constructed a tomb for Washington underneath the Capitol Rotunda (completed in 1829), overcoming one of the barriers preventing the motion from being carried out in full. The tomb still stands in the Capitol Crypt and is a part of U.S. Capitol visitor tours.

While both Washington’s will and Martha Washington’s wishes were to keep his remains at his home in Mount Vernon, Virginia, a 1799 testimonial expressed Martha Washington’s “sacrifice of individual feeling…to a sense of public duty.” She consented to Congress’s wishes after recognizing Washington’s legacy in the lives of the American people. “[H]is best services and most anxious wishes were always devoted to the welfare and happiness of his country.” (H.R. Rep. No. 21-318, at 5 (1830), reprinted in Serial Set Vol. No. 201).

In 1832, following a failed grave robbery at Mount Vernon during which a former employee attempted to steal Washington’s skull, the motion was reexamined. Passing firstly through the Senate and then the House, Vice President John C. Calhoun and Speaker of the House Andrew Stevenson were authorized by a joint committee to write to John A. Washington, then the keeper of Mount Vernon, and George Washington Parke Custis for permission to exhume and transfer the Washingtons’ remains to the Capitol building tomb. This request was made on February 22, 1832, in commemoration of George Washington’s centennial year.

Text of Letter from John C. Calhoun and Andrew Stevenson to John A. Washington. S. Journal, 22nd Cong., 1st Sess. 140 (1832), reprinted in Serial Set Vol. No. 211. Photo by Geraldine Dávila González.

George W. P. Custis, grandson of Martha Washington, supported the motion. He affirmed his “most hearty consent,” congratulating “the Government upon the approaching consummation of a great act of national gratitude.” (H. Journal, 22nd Cong., 1st Sess. 368 (1832), reprinted in Serial Set Vol. No. 215).

Text of Response of George W. P. Custis to the U.S. Congress. H. Journal, 22nd Cong., 1st Sess. 368 (1832), reprinted in Serial Set Vol. No. 215. Photo by Geraldine Dávila González.

However, the Washingtons’ remains never left Mount Vernon. Of Washington’s will, John A. Washington wrote:

“But when I recollect that his will, in respect to the disposition of his remains, has been recently carried into full effect, and that they now repose in perfect tranquillity [sic], surrounded by those of other endeared members of the family, I hope Congress will do justice to the motives which seem to me to require that I should not consent to their separation.” (H. Journal, 22nd Cong., 1st Sess. 367 (1832), reprinted in Serial Set Vol. No. 215).

Text of Response of John A. Washington to the U.S. Congress. H. Journal, 22nd Cong., 1st Sess. 367 (1832), reprinted in Serial Set Vol. No. 215. Photo by Geraldine Dávila González.

The question of how to commemorate Washington’s legacy is one of the many joint resolutions that has come before Congress, but was not fully effected. Nonetheless, the testimonies of the Washington family, along with many others in the time span of the Serial Set, invaluably personalize legislative history. Although the tomb in the Capitol Crypt was never put to its intended use, the legacy of George Washington, as preserved in these testimonies, continues with the annual celebration of Presidents’ Day.

Digital copies of the House and Senate Journal are accessible through A Century of Lawmaking. House Reports, like the one that inspired this post, and more will soon follow with the full digitization of the Serial Set.

Categories: Research & Litigation

A Congress.gov Interview with Owen Henry, Legislative Data Analyst

In Custodia Legis - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 9:02am

Today’s interview is with Owen Henry, a legislative data analyst in the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the Library of Congress.

Describe your background. 

My parents both worked for the Department of the Interior over in Foggy Bottom, so I grew up living around Washington, DC. I got a degree in political science from Oberlin College, then went to work as an organizer on political campaigns. Computers were always a hobby of mine, so while on the campaigns I gravitated towards making sure we had good tech support and good data.

I met my (now) wife on my first campaign and knew I wanted to be with her always, so I switched from campaigns to political technology in DC to be near her. Since then I have provided technology support for nonprofits and political organizations, designed features and run projects for political software companies, migrated and set up fundraising databases, configured email programs and platforms, programmed business intelligence reports, and more that I’ve probably forgotten. I like trying new things! 

Pictured: Owen and his wife, Chloe

How would you describe your job to other people? 

I solve problems for people. Sometimes that means helping people understand a feature in Congress.gov, sometimes that means proposing and working on projects to enhance the way we use data, and sometimes that means pulling data and reports from a database. Because people use Congress.gov in a lot of different ways, I have to be able to come up with a lot of different types of solutions. I really love the variety.

What is your role in the development of Congress.gov?

Right now, I spend a lot of time working on the way we’re processing and loading data into the system. The goal of the Congressional Research Service is to be accurate, authoritative, and timely with our data, and in order for that to happen, everything has to run smoothly under the hood as we’re compiling and combining data from the House, Senate, and the Government Publishing Office.

As experts in those datasets, my team and I spend a lot of time monitoring for and correcting errors in that process, which is currently very time-intensive and manual – we’re in our office every day (before the sun is up!) checking for errors and making corrections. I’m working on making the process faster and easier for my team, and on coming up with ways to run analytics on what types of errors we’re hitting. This should help us reduce errors over time.

What is your favorite feature of Congress.gov? 

Stable URLs! In a lot of web applications, you have to use special technology and code to get to a result set from a search – in Congress.gov, you just need a URL to get back your result list, which makes monitoring list results and changes in legislation a lot easier. It also really helps researchers, congressional staff, and users, because you can always get an updated result set from just your bookmarks bar. 

What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the legislative process while working on Congress.gov? 

I think what I find most interesting is the way that the staff of various Capitol Hill agencies collaborate to deliver the most accurate, up-to-date information to Congress every day. In most places I’ve worked, the data entry, production, and reporting work happen over a period of weeks – here, that cycle happens in a single day, every day that Congress is in session, with the expectation and goal of perfect accuracy. It’s really challenging and the House and Senate clerks, as well as the staff at GPO, deserve recognition and applause for making it all run so well.

What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?

I’m the step-grandson of a semi-famous bird artist, and my house is filled with prints of his art – my favorite is a 4-by-3-foot print of a pair of peregrine falcons that hangs in my living room, and my second favorite is a print of a pair of snowy owls.

Categories: Research & Litigation

New Online Collection: Military Legal Resources

In Custodia Legis - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 10:32am

 Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School Crest

A new collection is now available on the law.gov website: Military Legal Resources.

This collection includes material from the William Winthrop Memorial Library at the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) is the legal arm of the United States Army, established on July 29, 1775 by General George Washington. Judge Advocates are stationed in the United States and abroad. They are most known for representing soldiers during courts-martial, but their duties encompass a wide range of legal disciplines. Selections of their physical library collection have been digitized and made available to the public online, including primary source materials and publications in the field of military law.

“Law and Justice” Igor Stevanovic. Used under Creative Commons License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The collection is divided into three webpages to best highlight the type of material available: JAG Legal Center & School Materials, Historical Materials, and Military Law and Legislative History. These pages contain the digitized material, as well as descriptions of the collections and, in some cases, historical and contextual significance. The three webpages organize the collection with drop-down menus, under which you can find the descriptions and links to the PDFs.

The first webpage, JAG Legal Center & School Materials, includes issues of the Military Law Review and The Army Lawyer for over 50 years. It also contains deskbooks, handbooks, and training manuals for JAG officers in the military. This section highlights material specific to the school, including scrapbooks, newsletters, and theses.

Finally, this section includes links to the Lieber collection—the personal library of Brigadier General Guido Norman Lieber. He is best known for his codification of the laws of war for a national army, now known as the “Lieber Code” which was adopted by President Lincoln on April 24, 1863. The collection is divided into books, other printed material, and ephemera that includes newspaper clippings, notes, and correspondence. At the beginning of the collection, pictures and biographies of the family are included.

Screenshot of the webpage, https://www.loc.gov/law/mlr/historical-mats.php

The second webpage for this collection is divided chronologically, by war. The World War II material is the largest section, containing materials on war crimes trials. The material on the Nuremberg Trials contains all four major publications from the Trials: the official proceedings of the trial of the major war criminals (The Blue Series), documentary evidence and guide materials from that trial (The Red Series), the official condensed record of the subsequent trials (The Green Series), and a final report on all the war crimes trials held in Nuremberg, Germany, from 1945 to 1949. This section also contains reports from the Malmedy Massacre, General Tomoyuki Yamashita’s trial, and the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. Information on the MyLai Incident can be found under the Vietnam War section.

The third webpage contains military law and legislative histories, including one of the most comprehensive legislative histories known for the principal documents of military law, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The legislative history begins in 1912 with the proposed Articles of War through its enactment and the first comprehensive revision in 1948 (known as the Elston Act). The collection contains selected papers of Edmund M. Morgan, a Harvard Law professor who was appointed chair of the committee selected to draft a uniform code of military justice. The collection then includes amendments to the UCMJ and the Military Justice Acts of 1968 and 1983. Finally, this page includes materials from the Manual for Courts Martial, Geneva Conventions Materials, and the Red Cross Committee and International Review, as well as legislative histories on the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act of 1974.

Photo by U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Daniel Blackwell.

We hope you enjoy this collection and all the amazing historical documents. As additional materials become digitized, we will add them to the website. We will also continue to update the functionality of the website by upgrading the PDFs and adding more search capabilities in the future. A special thanks to the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress, along with Dan Lavering, Law Librarian at the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, for their continued help in digitizing and developing the collection.

Categories: Research & Litigation

Join Us on February 27th for a Webinar on the Upcoming Israeli Election

In Custodia Legis - Wed, 02/12/2020 - 9:00am

Flyer announcing upcoming webinar on Israeli national election, created by Susan Taylor-Pikulsky

On March 2, 2020, Israel is going to hold its third national election in 11 months, with the first having taken place on April 9, 2019, and the second on September 17, 2019. The current (22nd) Knesset (Israel’s parliament) was sworn in on October 3, 2019.

Israel maintains a parliamentary system of government. No Knesset member was successful in forming a government following the first two elections. Therefore, the 34th Government, which was sworn in on May 14, 2015, continues to serve beyond its term of office as an interim-government, subject to changes to ministerial portfolios made by the Prime Minister.

Please join us for the second installment in our foreign and comparative law webinar series, What You Need to Know About the Upcoming Israeli National Election at 10am on February 27, 2020. I will discuss general principles of the Israeli government system, rules governing national elections, the method of distribution of Knesset seats, government formation procedures, prime-ministerial qualifications, term limits, authorities of interim governments and the legal implications of an indictment against a candidate or a serving prime minister on government formation and term of office. Topics may be adjusted as warranted to address ongoing developments.

To register, please click here or call (202) 707-5080.

Categories: Research & Litigation

New Series of Webinars: Join Us on Feb. 20th for an Orientation to Legal Research on U.S. Case Law

In Custodia Legis - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 12:00pm

The following is a guest post by Anna Price, a legal reference librarian at the Law Library of Congress.

Harris & Ewing, photographer. SUPREME COURT, U.S. COURTROOM. [between 1905 and 1945]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. https://www.loc.gov/item/2016857862/.

The Law Library of Congress is pleased to announce a new series of webinars on U.S. laws and legal resources. These classes are taught by reference librarians and designed to give a basic introduction to legal sources and research techniques. The upcoming webinars are an offshoot of our orientation to legal research classes, which were formerly available only to those who could visit our DC campus in person.

Our first webinar, on February 20, 2020, will provide an overview of U.S. case law research, including information about the U.S. federal court system, the publication of court opinions, methods for researching case law, and information about locating records and briefs.

This webinar will be presented by Barbara Bavis, the Law Library’s bibliographic and research instruction librarian. Barbara holds a BA in history from Duke University, a JD from the University of North Carolina School of Law, and an MLIS with a specialization in law librarianship from Catholic University.

To register for the webinar, please click here or call (202) 707-5080.

Categories: Research & Litigation

Congress.gov New, Tip and Top February 2020

In Custodia Legis - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 8:50am

Last month Andrew told us about deep linking in Congress.gov while Robert informed us about sponsorship information in saved searches for legislation. This month we are implementing the ReadSpeaker function for use on the Congress.gov bill text tab. Since July 2015, Congress.gov has offered the ReadSpeaker function for bill summaries but now we are offering it for the bill text as well. We are also bringing you a new alert with this release; you can receive an email every Monday with the updated committee schedule for the week.

Visit the weekly committee schedule page on Congress.gov, and click “get weekly alerts” to receive an email each Monday with the updated committee schedule for the week.

 

Enhancements

Enhancement – Committee Schedule – Weekly Alert

Enhancement – Legislation – ReadSpeaker for Bill Text

  • Download an audio file of the text of a bill to listen to while commuting or multitasking.

Enhancement – Advanced Search – Cursor Focus

To quickly search by bill, resolution or law number, bookmark the advanced search page where your cursor is in the Legislation and Law Number search box by default.

Enhancement – Committee Videos – Links to Committee Schedule

  • New links from the House Committee Videos have been added to the Committee Hearing detail pages.
  • Titles now stay on videos when selecting a video to watch.

Enhancement – House Member Profile Pages  – Enhanced Link to Clerk Website

Search Tip

Congress.gov receives frequent updates, with new features added on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. To review a list of the features added in each release, please visit our Congress.gov enhancements page.

Most Viewed Bills

Here are the most-viewed bills for the week of February 2nd. All of these bills are from the 116th Congress.

1. H.R.1865 [116th] Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 2. S.1790 [116th] National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 3. H.R.5428 [115th] Stand with UK against Russia Violations Act 4. H.R.943 [116th] Never Again Education Act 5. H.R.1994 [116th] Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 6. H.R.2474 [116th] Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019 7. S.386 [116th] Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 8. H.R.5430 [116th] United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act 9. S.488 [116th] A resolution to provide for related procedures concerning the articles of impeachment against Donald John Trump, President of the United States. 10. H.R.3621 [116th] Comprehensive CREDIT Act of 2020

 

Categories: Research & Litigation

Rusty Hands In the Vault

In Custodia Legis - Fri, 02/07/2020 - 9:31am

Your favorite fantasy fiction, movies, and even Mr. Bean aside, wearing cotton gloves (aka the “cotton menace”) isn’t the best way to show love for rare books when you handle them. As the Ransom Center has observed, “[t]he conservator’s explanation in support of bare hands is that they afford much greater manual dexterity. Ungloved hands allow a firmer grip so that an item doesn’t accidentally slip out of your hands when moving it.”

Hands of the rare book move team at the end of a shift– Brian, Alexander, Ellie, Dentor, Jennifer (r-l) [photo by Geraldine Dávila González]

As we reported in July, the Law Library is the proud custodian of a new secure storage facility (SSF) for rare books. This new facility has better temperature and humidity controls than the temporary storage we used for our rare books, and we were eager and ready to move our collections to the SSF. This move has been a project involving teams of technicians and librarians carefully removing items from the shelf and placing them on the shelves in their new location with our clean hands– at least we started out that way. For preventive conservation, our bare hands are better than any fabric, which retains dirt that will be transferred to the books. At the end of a shift, though, we are the dirty ones. Our medieval codicologist says he can tell when colleagues have been working in collections all day: their hands are black and tan.

We’ve finally populated our new vault. Although we were too busy working to take photos while we were on the move, we took the time at the end of a shift to get a photo of the evidence. The whole shifting team isn’t pictured, but thanks to Ellie, Dentor, Alexander, Brian, Jon, Mariah, Julius, Eric, Monica and Nathan, our rare law collection is (mostly) sorted.

Categories: Research & Litigation

The Teaching Contract that Brought Sami Reindeer to Alaska

In Custodia Legis - Thu, 02/06/2020 - 5:08pm

Today marks the National Sami Day in Sapmi – an area spanning the national borders of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russian Kola Peninsula.

The Sami are a semi-nomadic people who have moved across national borders in Sapmi for hundreds of years. Similar to other people from the Scandinavian countries, they have also crossed the Atlantic in hopes of a better life. But today I want to write about how their reindeer immigrated to America. Although individual Sami may have emigrated from the joint kingdom of Sweden and Norway earlier, in 1894 and 1898, the Sami were asked to travel to the United States with the express purpose of teaching reindeer husbandry to the indigenous peoples of Alaska. With them they brought hundreds of commissioned reindeer, a definite first.

Background

The ”Contract with the Laplanders” was the fruit of Sheldon Jackson‘s (General Agent of Education in Alaska) labors. He mistakenly thought the Alaskan indigenous groups were facing starvation, and imagined the problem could be solved by importing a sustainable food source in the form of domesticated reindeer. Jackson, with the help of William T. Lopp, first brought reindeer from Siberia to Alaska in 1891. However, the Siberian transplant did not turn out as well as he had hoped so Jackson instead turned his attention to Sapmi, then referred to as Lapland, and solicited reindeer herders in Scandinavian newspapers. The first group came over in 1894. With the start of the Klondike Gold Rush, Jackson feared further starvation in the Yukon gold fields during the winter months and solicited Congress to receive funding ($200,000) to buy and bring additional reindeer from Lapland (Norway and Sweden). (Act on authorizing the Secretary of War, in his discretion, to purchase subsistence, stores, supplies and materials for the relief of the people who are in the Yukon River country, to provide means for their transportation and distribution, and making appropriations therefor (Dec. 18, 1897.).)

Contract with the Laplanders. United States Congressional Serial Set Volume 3728 (1898) 107., https://lccn.loc.gov/92643101. Photo by Geraldine Davila Gonzalez.

The resulting contract, dated January 24, 1898, provided that, among other things, the men should work for two years and that they need not pay any taxes for the duration of their contract, that they would receive free health care, and that their children would receive free education. Moreover, they were to be given provisions, but the process depended on the status of the men as married or unmarried. Specifically, the contract stated that:

To those of the undersigned who are married and have their wives with them, the provisions shall be given out once a month and be prepared and cooked by the wife. The others who are not married shall, according to their own wish, have their provisions dealt out every month and have their food prepared by a cook appointed for such service. (G.P.O. 3782 at 108)

It also provided for how the Samis were to return to Scandinavia:

Should any of the undersigned after the end of the time of service desire to return home, he shall then be at liberty to select between paying his own journey home or that the Government pay such journey provided that the respective man for such expense serve six months without salary.

The Norwegian authorities seemed to welcome the idea, and promised to assist with the endeavor.

Letter from the Royal department of Interior of Norway. (1898) Source: United States Congressional Serial Set Volume 3728 (1898) 105, https://lccn.loc.gov/92643101. Photo by Geraldine Davila Gonzalez.

Thus, in 1898 a total of 69 individuals–Sami, Norwegians, Swedes and Finns–signed up and were paid between $4.46 (women) and $40.20 (highest paid male) per month. Including, wives and children, the group totaled 170. Once the S.S. Mantiboan set sail, the ship housed 87 Lapps and 530 reindeer. The journey, known as the “Laplan-Yukon Relief Expedition,” was long, as the group had to first journey from the far northernest parts of Norway, then via ship from Trondheim, Norway to New York, then take a train to Seattle and then a boat from Seattle to Alaska.

Unloading reindeer, Seattle, Wash., U.S.A. Singley, B. L. (Benjamin Lloyd) (1898). Prints and Photograph Division, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.09580.

Aftermath

When the Sami contracts expired in 1900, some stayed, some joined the gold rush, and some returned to Sapmi. Today, there are no Sami reindeer herders in Alaska, although there may be indigenous Alaskans who have Sami heritage.

[Laplanders milking reindeer, vicinity of Nome Alaska] William Hester 1900. Prints and Photographs Division, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3a40654.

Further resources about Alaskan indigenous people, and Sami reindeer herding in Alaska, include:

Categories: Research & Litigation

2020 Supreme Court Fellows Program Annual Lecture to Feature U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch

In Custodia Legis - Thu, 02/06/2020 - 9:13am

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Supreme Court.

We hope you can join us for the 2020 Supreme Court Fellows Program Annual Lecture! The Law Library of Congress and the Supreme Court Fellows Program will present a conversation with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch on Thursday, Feb. 20 at 3:30 p.m. in the Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C.

David M. Rubenstein, trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society and chair of the Madison Council of the Library of Congress, will moderate the program. Law Librarian of Congress Jane Sánchez and Counselor to the Chief Justice Jeffrey P. Minear, who is also executive director of the Supreme Court Fellows Program, will introduce the program.

Neil M. Gorsuch, Associate Justice, was born in Denver, Colorado. He received a B.A. from Columbia University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a D.Phil. from Oxford University. Gorsuch took his seat on April 10, 2017.

David M. Rubenstein is a co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private investment firms.

The event is free and open to the public. Please register via Eventbrite: https://supct2020.eventbrite.com.

Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at 202-707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov.

Categories: Research & Litigation

Anniversary of the 16th Amendment

In Custodia Legis - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 7:00am

Internal Revenue Service Christmas ornament featuring the original Form 1040 (1993), from the collection of Betty Lupinacci (photographer).

Original Form 1040. Elias H. Henderson, Federal legislation, 1913-1914; income tax… 146 (1915). (photo by Betty Lupinacci)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today marks an anniversary that perhaps many people would like to forget: February 3, 1913 was the day that the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.  For those of you who have blocked this amendment from your memory, the 16th Amendment states:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

The measure was first passed by Congress in 1909 (S. J. Res 40 (1909).) before it was sent to the states to be ratified.

The 16th Amendment followed earlier attempts at a national income tax, including the Revenue Act of 1861, which was a personal tax imposed to help defray the costs of the Civil War.

The 1861 act was quickly followed by the Revenue Act of 1862, which shored up the provisions of the earlier act and also created the office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to enforce the new laws.

This income tax structure was eventually repealed in 1871 when Congress allowed the legislation to lapse.  Proponents wanted to continue with a national income tax, but lost out to those who thought that tariffs would provide enough funding to run the government.

A new revenue act was passed in 1894, establishing a flat rate income tax.

This new tax was challenged in court and the Supreme Court, in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Company (158 U.S. 601 (1895)), ruled:

Third. The tax imposed by sections twenty-seven to thirty-seven, inclusive, of the act of 1894, so far as it falls on the income of real estate and of personal property, being a direct tax within the meaning of the Constitution, and, therefore, unconstitutional and void because not apportioned according to representation, all those sections, constituting one entire scheme of taxation, are necessarily invalid.

Before the 1909 proposal for a constitutional amendment, the Court ruled, in a series of decisions, in favor of certain excise taxes that allowed for the taxation of corporate income as the price of doing business in the United States.

 

Categories: Research & Litigation

Deep Linking in Congress.gov Allows You to Share Specific Sections of a Bill

In Custodia Legis - Fri, 01/31/2020 - 7:58am

As of January 2020, deep linking in legislation is now available on Congress.gov. If you want to share a link to a particular section of a bill, go to the XML/HTML version of the bill, hover over the section of interest, click on the link icon, and then click “share this section” to copy a link to that section to your clipboard.

Click on the link icon next to the section of a bill you want to share.

This is a significant improvement, and we have seen more than a thousand uses of the tool so far, with users sharing information from appropriation bills, trade legislation, and more. Previously, you could only provide a link to the top of the page of a bill. Some bills may be hundreds of pages of text, so your recipient would have had to scroll down to locate the section you wanted them to read. With deep linking, you can zero in on the exact section you are interested in, and share that with your intended recipient.

Click “share this section” to copy a link to the section of the bill to your clipboard, which you can then share with your intended recipient.

Please note that if you do not want to highlight any section of text, you can just keep your mouse on the scroll bar while you are reading the bill.

The deep linking enhancement is the result of user feedback that we received through the Congress.gov user feedback survey. If you have enhancements you would like to see included in Congress.gov, please fill out our survey.

Categories: Research & Litigation

FALQs: Measures to Control Infectious Diseases Under Chinese Law

In Custodia Legis - Wed, 01/29/2020 - 1:35pm

In response to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China has escalated measures to control the spread of the deadly virus, including locking down Wuhan and other cities in the province starting January 23, 2019.

This followed an announcement issued by China’s National Health Commission (NHC) on January 20, 2020, declaring that the novel coronavirus-caused pneumonia is a Class B statutory infectious disease to be treated with control measures applicable to Class A diseases.

1.  What is the law governing the classification of infectious diseases and their respective control measures?

The PRC Law on the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases (Infectious Diseases Law) governs the prevention and control of infectious diseases, including in epidemic situations. First enacted in 1989, the Law was significantly revised in August 2004, after the outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002–2003, and last amended in 2013.

The Infectious Diseases Law governs thirty-seven infectious diseases that are already known, i.e. the statutory infectious diseases. They are classified into three classes requiring the implementation of different preventive and control measures. There are only two diseases under Class A: bubonic plague and cholera. Class B contains diseases such as SARS, anthrax, AIDS, typhoid, and viral hepatitis. Class C contains diseases such as influenza, leprosy, mumps, and schistosomiasis. (Art. 3.)

The Law provides that the central government health department, i.e. the NHC, has the power to increase, reduce, or otherwise adjust the diseases under Classes B and C and to announce any such changes. (Id.)

2.  What is a Class B disease treated with Class A control measures?

The Infectious Diseases Law specifically designates SARS, as well as another two Class B diseases—pulmonary anthrax and highly pathogenic avian influenza—as Class B diseases to be treated with the control measures applicable to Class A diseases. In addition, the NHC may, upon approval of the State Council, announce other Class B diseases or diseases of unknown causes to be treated with Class A control measures. (Art. 4.)

3.  What measures are specified by the Law to control Class A diseases?

Whenever a Class A disease is identified, the hospitals may put patients, suspected carriers, and people in close contact with infected patients under mandatory isolation or quarantine and treatment in accordance with the Law. (Art. 39.)

A local government at or above the county level may decide to put places where a Class A disease was found and people in those places under isolation. During the period of isolation, the government that made the decision is responsible for providing living necessities to the people in isolation and employers must continue to pay the salaries of those people. (Art. 41.)

As an emergency measure intended to cut off the spread of the diseases, the government may “close places that may cause the spread of infectious diseases” when there is an outbreak of an infectious disease under any classes. The Law also provides for a series of other emergency measures, including closing markets, theaters, or large public gatherings and suspending businesses and schools. (Art. 42.)

On January 26, 2020, for example, the State Council decided to extend the nationwide Spring Festival holiday that was scheduled to end on January 30 to February 2, 2020. All schools and preschools in the country will postpone the opening of the spring semester until further notice.

4.  Does the Law allow locking down a big city like Wuhan?

The Infectious Diseases Law contains a provision on blockading (feng suo in Chinese) an epidemic area (yi qu). According to the Law, during an outbreak of a Class A or B disease, a local government at or above the county level may, upon approval of the government at the next highest level, announce a part of or the whole area under its jurisdiction an epidemic area. Furthermore, only a Class A disease epidemic area can be put under blockade and the decision must be made by the government at the provincial level. If an epidemic area is in a large or medium-sized city or the area crosses borders of provinces, the blockade decision must be made by the central government, i.e. the State Council. (Art. 43.)

However, it is not clear if the current lockdown of Wuhan and other cities in Hubei Province was decided in accordance with this provision. Circulars that have been located on the respective city government websites announcing the lockdown of WuhanHuanggang, Ezhou, Zhijiang, and Chibi were all issued by the “novel coronavirus infected pneumonia prevention and control headquarters” of these cities, without indicating the decisions had been made by the central government. None of the circulars use the term “blockade.” Specifically, the Wuhan circular ordered the suspension of trains and planes leaving the city (and the highways were also closed later on), as well as the operation of public transportation in the city.

5.  Are there other laws that may apply?

A major epidemic of an infectious disease is also subject to the 2003 Regulation on Contingent Public Health Emergencies and the 2007 PRC Law on Emergency Response. Article 33 of the Regulation provides that emergency-response headquarters have the power to evacuate or isolate people and to blockade areas of epidemic infectious disease in accordance with laws. For more information on the health emergency system, see my 2015 Law Library report, China: Legal Responses to Health Emergencies.

6.  What other countries do in response to public health emergencies?

The Law Library prepared a multinational report in 2015 that discusses the regulations addressing health emergencies in twenty-five jurisdictions: Legal Responses to Health Emergencies.

If you have more questions on Chinese law, feel free to submit them using our Ask a Librarian webpage.

 

Categories: Research & Litigation

“The Noble Experiment”

In Custodia Legis - Wed, 01/29/2020 - 10:38am

Copy of amended text of first page, Senate Joint Resolution 17, 65th Congress. Photo by Geraldine Davila Gonzalez.

Today, January 29, marks the 101st anniversary of the certification by Acting Secretary of State Frank Polk of the ratification by three-quarters of the states of the proposed 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, which prohibited in the United States ”the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors.” The adoption of the amendment was the culmination of a long drive to ban alcohol in America that saw its first success with the adoption of prohibition by Maine in 1846, although that act would later be modified. Though the 18th Amendment was certified in 1919, the enacting legislation, commonly called the Volstead Act-for its sponsor, Representative Andrew J. Volstead of Minnesota, the chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary, would not become effective until January of 1920.

The aspirations of the supporters of prohibition were widely applauded, but the enactment of the law, including the complete banning of all intoxicating beverages above 0.5% alcohol content, proved to be unpopular, with opposition growing throughout the 1920s. The continued demand for alcoholic beverages led to an increase in organized crime, with “criminal kingpins,” such as Al Capone, gaining widespread notoriety and power. The federal government’s attempts to enforce the ban were, at best, only partially effective, although some agents, such as Isidor “Izzy” Einstein and Moe Smith, became noteworthy for their work.

Cover of Izzy Einstein’s Prohibition Agent No 1, published in 1932. Photo by Geraldine Davila Gonzalez. https://lccn.loc.gov/32031275

In 1932, the issue of prohibition was directly addressed in the platforms of both parties, but it was only a secondary issue in that year’s national elections behind concerns about the overall performance of the economy. In 1933, Congress passed, and President Roosevelt signed, legislation legalizing the manufacture, transportation, sale and consumption of 3.2% beer and wines of similar strength; later that year the 18th Amendment would be repealed as a result of the states ratifying, in separate conventions, the 21st Amendment. The states then resumed control over the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Categories: Research & Litigation

The Italian Parliamentary Library

In Custodia Legis - Tue, 01/28/2020 - 9:47am

The following post is written by Dante Figueroa, Senior Legal Information Analyst at the Law Library of Congress.

The Italian Parliamentary Library is composed of two libraries: the Senate Library and the Chamber of Deputies Library. Together they make up the Italian Joint Parliamentary Library (Polo Bibliotecario Parlamentare), the largest parliamentary library in Europe.

The Senate Library (also called the “Giovanni Spadolini” Library) was founded in 1848 in Turin. Since 2003, the Senate Library has been housed in a building looking on to Piazza della Minerva, just behind the Pantheon. The Library’s role is to provide support to the Senate but is also accessible to the general public. It holds about “700,000 modern and contemporary books, pamphlets and other printed documents, 80 incunabula, 2,000 editions from the 16th century, 8,000 maps, 850 manuscripts, and 2,000 autograph items.” The Library also holds 3,500 periodical titles (Italian and foreign), 400 newspapers (Italian and foreign), and the “holdings of the Statutes of Italian Comuni and other bodies, from the late Middle Ages until modern time.”

Senate Library/ Photo by author.

The Library of the Chamber of Deputies, which was also founded in 1848, holds about 1.4 million books, 1,800 current periodicals, and more than one hundred databases. Much like the U.S. Library of Congress (albeit at a much smaller scale), its collection includes topics such as law, history, economics, political science, the history of political institutions, legislative documents and parliamentary records from Italy and other countries. It acts as the research organ of the Chamber of Deputies.

A partial view of a room at the interior of the Italian Chamber of Deputies’ Library. Source: Parliamento Italiano, https://storia.camera.it/palazzi/palazzo-via-del-seminario/sala-del-refettorio/sala-del-refettorio-3#noNav.

A book on the history of the Library of the Italian Chamber of Deputies called Libri, Lettori e Bibliotecari a Montecitorio. Storia della Biblioteca della Camera dei Deputati[Books, Readers and Librarians at Montecitorio. History of the Library of the Chamber of Deputies] (Milano, Wolters Kluwer—Cedam, 2019), by Fernando Venturini, was recently published in Italy as a part of the “Quaderni di Nomos” series. The book’s author visited the Law Library of Congress in 2017 while in the midst of writing his book. During his visit, he had the opportunity to access and appreciate several items in the collection highlighting the contributions of certain groups to the history of the Library of Congress, including: Women in Congress, 1917-2006; Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-2012, and Black Americans in Congress, 1870-1977. He later had this to say about the Law Library collection:

While I was writing my book on the history of the Chamber of Deputies Library, I searched for books on the history of other parliamentary libraries, but only found a few. It was then when I took notice of these great publications by the Library of the United States Congress [referring to our aforementioned books], which are an example of the biographical approach to parliamentary history, which contains a particularly useful approach in the case of “minorities” because it reveals their progressive integration to parliamentary life and hence to society. In addition, these publications helped me understand that some aspects – such as the not always easy relationship between the library as a collection and library as a research center, and, consequently, the birth of the Congressional Research Service — were set in the United States much earlier than in European parliaments.

In general, I tried to give particular emphasis to the relationship between the events of the Library and Italian political and parliamentary history. I also followed the biographical approach, constantly stressing the role of those who led the Library throughout its history. Finally, during my writing process, I always had in mind that one of the most effective tools to defend public institutions in a democracy is to cultivate their history. History brings institutions closer to citizens because it makes them understand that they are not far from the life of the nation but are an active part of it. (Quoted with permission of Mr. Venturini. Translation by author.) 

This is a good example of how continuous cooperation and contact with our colleagues on the other side of the Atlantic can lead to fruitful results and give life to our vast combined bibliographical resources!

Additional Resources

The Library of Congress has three additional bibliographical items dealing with the history of the Italian parliamentary library:

Categories: Research & Litigation

Human Rights Day 2019 Event Recap: The Impact of the Women’s Suffrage Movement Today

In Custodia Legis - Mon, 01/27/2020 - 3:26pm

Panelists (left-to-right) Corrine McConnaughy, Elaine Weiss, Colleen Shogan. Photo by Donna Sokol.

Every year, the Law Library celebrates Human Rights Day with a panel discussion focusing on understanding and recognition of a critical social, economic, or cultural human rights issue. This year’s program, on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, focused on how the women’s suffrage movement impacts women’s rights today.

The event started with a viewing of the Shall Not Be Denied Exhibition, followed by remarks and introductions by our Law Librarian of Congress, Jane Sánchez, who reflected on the importance of Human Rights Day. The panel discussion was then moderated by Dr. Colleen Shogan, the assistant deputy librarian of the Library Collections and Services Group, and the Library’s representative on the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission. The panelists were Corrine McConnaughy, associate professor of political science at The George Washington University and author of The Woman Suffrage Movement in America: A Reassessment, and Elaine Weiss, journalist and author of The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote

Panelists (left-to-right) Corrine McConnaughy, Elaine Weiss, Colleen Shogan. Photo by Donna Sokol.

In their conversation, the panel discussed why the women’s suffrage movement succeeded when it did and why it took over seventy years for the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to be enacted. They discussed the two sides of the fight and why there were prominent women on the anti-suffragist side. In their respective books, they both argue that while this was a national movement, the story of women’s suffrage is a story about states and localities. They went on to explain why it is important to keep in mind the role of states in voting and how race intersected with gender, and how such intersectionality continues today. They shared lessons for women who want to become active in politics today and what they can draw from the women’s suffrage movement. The program concluded with questions and answers from the audience.

A video of this discussion will be posted once it becomes available.

Categories: Research & Litigation

The Old Capitol Prison and the United States Supreme Court

In Custodia Legis - Fri, 01/24/2020 - 11:28am

Carol Highsmith. U.S. Supreme Court building, Washington, D.C. [between 1980 and 2006]. Highsmith (Carol M.) Archive. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2011631106/

If you walked by this building across from the United States Capitol, you would instantly recognize it as the United States Supreme Court building that was constructed to house the Court in 1935. Visitors to Washington often climb its steps and look up at the words printed on its west portico, “Equal Justice Under Law.” However, if you were looking at this spot during the Civil War, you would see something very different: the Old Capitol Prison.

The Old Capitol prison, Washington, D.C.. Photograph by William Redish. (Photographed between 1861 and 1865). Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2013651882/

The Old Capitol (or “old brick Capitol“) was constructed in 1815 as a temporary meeting space for Congress after the British burned the U.S. Capitol in 1814. During the Civil War, the Old Capitol was repurposed as a prison for Confederate prisoners of war, spies, blockade runners, and Union army officials convicted of insubordination. Sometimes derided as the American Bastille by its occupants, it held many notable prisoners, including the father of John Wilkes Booth, Junius Brutus Booth; the proprietor of Ford Theater, John T. Ford; members of Mosby’s Rangers; and some of the conspirators involved in the Lincoln assassination. The warden of the prison was William P. Wood, and during the prison’s service, Wood commented that 30,000 prisoners passed through its gates. Following his service as warden, Wood became the first chief of the Secret Service.

Greenhow, Mrs. & daughter (imprisoned in old Capitol Prison in Wash. D.C.) Confederate spy. Photograph by Brady-Handy. Photographed between 1861 and 1865. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2017895090/

This prison is also remarkable for another reason. The Old Capitol Prison’s yard is where Captain Heinrich (Henry) Wirz was executed on November 10, 1865, for his role in the operation of Camp Sumter, the Confederate stockade that is better known today as the notorious Andersonville Prison in Georgia. Wirz was one of a few Confederate officials to be executed by the United States at the conclusion of the Civil War. An image of his hanging, with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building clearly visible in the background, is housed in the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division.

 

Source consulted: Davis, Curtis. The “Old Capitol” and Its Keeper: How William P. Wood Ran a Civil War Prison. Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C. Vol. 52. (1989), pp. 206-234.
Categories: Research & Litigation

An Interview with Zeynep Timocin Cantekin, Foreign Law Intern

In Custodia Legis - Thu, 01/23/2020 - 9:30am

Today’s interview is with Zeynep Timocin Cantekin, a foreign law intern working with Foreign Law Specialist Jenny Gesley at the Global Legal Research Directorate of the Law Library of Congress.

Describe your background.

Zeynep Timocin Cantekin. Photo by Geraldine Dávila González.

I was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. After finishing my undergraduate degree in Istanbul, I first moved to London for law school, and then to Florence, Italy, with my husband, where I got my Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree. In 2017, we decided to move to the U.S., and before settling down in Washington, D.C., we spent a couple of years living in Lexington, Kentucky, to be close to my father.

What is your academic/professional history?

I graduated from Koç University in Istanbul with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a bachelor’s degree in economics. During my studies, I had the opportunity to spend a semester at Georgetown University as an exchange student, and live abroad for the first time.

Later, I earned a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) at SOAS, University of London. In my last year of law school, I discovered my interest in intellectual property law, and I decided to do an LL.M. in this field to build on the introductory courses I took previously. At that time, I was living in Florence, and was accepted to the LL.M. program in comparative, European and international laws of the European University Institute (EUI). At the EUI, the LL.M. program is predominantly research-centric and designed to be a bridge between a more traditional LL.M. and a doctoral program. As I worked on my thesis, I learned and practiced the value of research and developed as a scholar. In my LL.M thesis, I conducted a comparative analysis of the U.S. and EU patent laws on the patentability of genetic inventions as a healthcare policy tool to increase the availability of personalized medicine. I also worked as a senior editor for the EUI’s law journal, the European Journal of Legal Studies.

How would you describe your job to other people?

I am working as an intern at the Global Legal Research Directorate under the supervision of Jenny Gesley. I research and  contribute to reports  and Global Legal Monitor articles on recent developments in European Union law, which fits me perfectly, because  I was trained in European Union law during my master’s studies. Most recently, I also helped research legal questions under Canadian law for a multi-jurisdiction report, which is not too unfamiliar to me because of my background in English common law.

Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?

Since moving to Washington, D.C., I wished to continue growing in my role as a legal researcher, and when I found out about this internship, it was a perfect fit for me! After my academic years in Europe, this internship is an amazing and natural next step in my career. This experience helps me keep up with the current legislative developments; a welcome change after years of studying more of the evolutionary and theoretical side of the law.

What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?

I never knew how many people in different roles it would take to run the world’s largest law library! It is probably quite cliché, but I believe it is one of those things you don’t really realize unless you experience and see it for yourself. Also, I never imagined that there would a great team of (foreign) legal specialists doing legal research in the Law Library, which is very fitting of course. Lastly, I was most amazed by the sheer scale of the sub-basement stacks and the number of rare books in the collection.

What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?

I love playing board games, and for a few months, as a family, we have been obsessed with the board game called Catan. Although it is a quite peaceful game, it can get quite competitive too. We even keep a spreadsheet of the number of wins on our refrigerator!

 

 

Categories: Research & Litigation

Pages

Subscribe to Mass Legal Services aggregator - Research & Litigation

Limit Offer