How to find books
2. WorldCat: if MNCAT doesn’t have a record of the book, try WorldCat. This database includes listings from most local libraries and thousands of libraries worldwide. If WorldCat tells you that another library owns the book, make a note of that fact for your article editor. You can request books held at other libraries via interlibrary loan.
TIP: If you can’t find a book in WorldCat or MNCAT, try a Google Books or Google search. Also, try full-text search of law review articles in Lexis Advance or Westlaw Edge. Sometimes this technique exposes problems with the citation by turning up records from online booksellers, faculty web pages, law review articles or other sources that cite your book.
How to find Journals
TIP: If you don’t recognize the journal abbreviation, try the following approaches:
Use the Libraries Search Advance Search template to locate journal articles by the article’s title. Set the Field to "Title" and enter the article title. This search allows you to retrieve full-text articles from databases available University-wide, e.g. JSTOR, HeinOnline, PAIS Index. If you locate your article in one of these databases, check to see if it is available as a PDF file. Most journals prefer/require that you to provide a facsimile copy of articles (image/PDF or photocopy).
Use the MNCAT (Catalog Only) Advance Search template to determine if the journal that your article is published in, is held at a library on-campus. If so, check the holdings information in the catalog record to confirm the volume you need is available. If so, you can then either go to the library and copy the article or place a Get It Request to have the volume that contains your article delivered to the Law Library for you.
How to find newspapers
Start with a browse search in MNCAT for the newspaper title. Generally, the Wilson Library has some major newspapers like the Washington Post, but does not have ones like the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Databases & Microform:
The University Libraries' News Sources Guide describes databases, websites and microfilm collections available to you. The Historical News Sources Guide is helpful in identifying news digital archives and historical news sources, including newspapers and magazines.
If MNCAT doesn’t have the newspaper, try WorldCat. The Minneapolis Public Library has a few US newspapers that Wilson does not. You are, however, unlikely to find a paper or microfilm version of most newspapers at any Twin Cities library.
TIP: It is difficult to track down an exact copy of newspaper articles that have appeared in non-major newspapers in recent years. This is because libraries today purchase electronic archives and many no longer collect back runs of newpapers on microform. These archives often do not provide imaged versions of articles. Most law review authors cite to newspaper articles they have found on Westlaw, Lexis, or the internet. If they cite to a hard-to-find newspaper, or to wire services like Reuters or Associated Press, you can sometimes use newspaper databases to find a nearly-identical story in one of the major newspapers (Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times). If your editor won’t accept Westlaw, Lexis, or web versions of newspaper stories, ask if you can try finding a story in one of the major papers.
How to find codified statutes
Generally, current federal statutes must be photocopied from the official U.S. Code. The current edition is available on Reserve at the Circulation Desk (call no. KF62). Earlier editions are available in Section 1B of the first floor stacks. The current permanent edition of the U.S. Code is also available in PDF format on the GovInfo website. Earlier editions are available on GovInfo back to 1994.
The HeinOnline U.S. Code Collection includes complete coverage of the U.S. Code dating back to inception in 1925-1926. Documents are available in PDF image format. It also includes a comprehensive collection of early federal statute compilations published prior to the U.S. Code.
Current state statutes must be photocopied from the first-floor state statutes collection on the low shelves (Law Library PRIMARY). Older state statutes are on the third floor; ask a reference librarian for help. HeinOnline's State Statutes: An Historical Archive is an online source for PDF copies of certain older state statutes/codes.
TIP: Official state codes are very difficult to find. It might be necessary to cite to an annotated version.
How to find public laws
A complete set of U.S. Statutes at Large is at the entrance to the first floor of the Law Library (KF50 .U6); at the same call number in the stacks on the first floor there is a set that ends in 1997. Note: the set on the 1st floor cannot be checked out to your journal's library account but the set on the 2nd floor can be checked out.
Federal Legislative History Documents
Sources for Documents in PDF
TIP: ProQuest Congressional also indexes many documents that are not available online in full-text and provides information such as document numbers that can be helpful in retrieving them from the library’s microform and print collections.
Microfiche & Print Collections
In addition to online databases, many Congressional documents such as bills (through 2001), committee reports, hearings, prints and more are available on microfiche in the Law Library and the Government Publications Library in Wilson Library. Use ProQuest Congressional and/or MNCAT Discovery to locate document numbers and call numbers.
See the Congressional Record section of our Federal Legislative History Research guide to locate the Congressional Record and it's predecessor publications (Annals of Congress, Register of Debates and Congressional Globe) in print and online.
Minnesota Legislative History
To find Minnesota legislative history materials, consult this guide:
How to find the Federal Register (FR)
Online PDF Sources
Recent copies of the Federal Register (about the last six months) are available on the first floor on the low shelves, Law Library Primary KF70.A2. These cannot be checked out to your journal's library account and must be photocopied. Hardcopy of the Federal Register from 1936-October 1981 are available in US Documents GS4.107: on the second floor.
How to find the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
Online PDF Sources
The most current edition of the CFR is located in Law Library Primary KF 70 .A3. These paperback volumes cannot be checked out, so you’ll need to photocopy them. Older paper versions of the CFR are located on the second floor in two different areas (depending on the date you need): GS4.108:35 (1949-1984) and AE2.106/3:35 (1985- ). govinfo also has images of the CFR from 1997 to date.
How to find cases
Online PDF Sources
The Library has older collections of duplicate case reporters, that you can check out to your journal's library account. However, the Library no longer buys duplicate sets, so for recent cases, you may need to photocopy the reporter sets on the second floor. For a guide that shows the location of reporter sets, see our, Location Guide to Frequently Requested Materials.
TIP: When you select the PDF format option on Westlaw, you may get a warning saying that you will "incur additional charges." This warning does not apply to law school users.
Court Documents (dockets, briefs, oral argument transcripts, etc.)
Consult our guide, Case Records & Briefs Research Guide.
How to find treaties
How to find international trade law documents
How to find other documents and resolve bad cites