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Moritz Law  /  Law Library  /  Opinio Juris  /September 2010


Opinio Juris - September 2010

Scroll down to learn about Digital Casebooks at Harvard, Google Instant, the THOMAS State Legislature Page, the Leadership Library Database, and Primary Sources on Copyright. 

Digital Casebooks at Harvard

Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain and his team at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society have been working to create an online casebook that is “free, remixable and that can be used not just for a specific class, but for instructors anywhere.”  They created a tool called Collage that allows professors to edit and annotate cases to create digital casebooks.  The casebook creation tool is part of a new suite of educational tools called H20, which also includes a syllabus (called a “playlist”), a question tool, and a discussion tool.  In additional to the The Atlantic blog post (linked above), more information about the project can be found at the Berkman Center, Best Practices for Legal Education blog, and the Ethan Zuckerman blog


Google Instant

Have you noticed a change this month when you put search terms into Google?  Google recently changed its default search on its search engine to "Google Instant" for most web browsers. The key feature of Google Instant is its "predictive searching." Google tries to predict what you are searching for as you type in your terms.  The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box.  The results are updated as you continue to type new characters into the search field.  If you don't like Google Instant, you can turn it off.  Just click the link next to the search box on any search results page.  (You can also change the settings in your Google Account preferences).  

THOMAS State Legislature Page

The folks at Law Library of Congress have added a State Legislature Page to the resources available at THOMAS.  This new page displays a map with links to the legislative bodies for all fifty states, Washington, DC, and U.S. territories.  This interactive map directs users to available legislative history resources at the state level.  Links to other sources of state legislative information, such as the National Conference of State Legislatures, are also included on the page. 

Leadership Library Database

The Leadership Library (the online version of the Yellow Books) is a powerful person finding database. Users can search through multiple databases including congressional, federal, state, law firms, and corporate, among others, for personal contact information. Beyond searching by occupation or organization, users can search across organizations by alma mater, degree type, job subject and more. From the results, users can build lists and export them into Excel. The information available varies, but can include phone numbers, e-mail addresses, mailing addresses, staff names and other contact information.  The Leadership Library can be accessed on or off campus with the Moritz password.  Moritz users can obtain the password here (with proper authentication).

Primary Sources on Copyright

Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) is a collection of primary documents that focuses on key copyright materials from Renaissance Italy (Venice, Rome), France, the German speaking countries, Britain and the United States.  The collection includes digital images of copyright documents from the invention of the printing press (1450) through the end of the nineteenth century.  Included with the documents are commentaries written by the scholars that selected the documents for inclusion in the collection.  The collection can be searched; however, users will enjoy browsing the collection using several different methods. The collection can be browsed by country, name, occupation, life dates, etc.  The initial phase of the project was funded by the United Kingdom Arts and Humanties Research Council.  (A more in-depth review of this source can be found at the Cornell Law Library's InSITE).