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Law Library

Law Library: Catalog

Resources available through the University of Louisville School of Law Library

WorldCat Discovery

The Law Library uses the OCLC public catalog interface called WorldCat Discovery. This catalog gathers together records from participating libraries all over the country, so that you can choose to search for items only at the Law Library, across the University of Louisville campus, and from further afield.

Finding a single relevant item through WorldCat can be difficult, since so much information is available, but there are several search options that produce more precise results. The advanced search option is available directly below the basic search bar, and provides options to create a more complex search. There are also ways to create structured searches in the basic search bar by using Boolean operators, truncation, or searching for specific types of data.

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators combine or exclude search terms to create a more precise search.

  • AND : searches for both terms anywhere in a catalog record
  • OR : searches for either term anywhere in a catalog record
  • NOT : excludes results containing the specified term

Wildcards & Truncation

Wildcards and truncation symbols allow you to search for multiple variations on a word in a single search.

  • # replaces 1 character in a search term. For example, wom#n = woman, women
  • ? replaces from 0 to 9 characters in a search term. For example, labo?r = labor, labour
  • * replaces any number of characters at the end of a search term. For example, sentenc* = sentence, sentences, sentencing, sentenced, etc.

Searchable Data

Searching for a particular type of data (title, author, type of material, call number, etc.) produces much more specific results than a general search. Some of these search options are available in advanced search, but there are many additional options available simply by placing an abbreviation for the index in front of your search term. For example, searching for ti:Bluebook produces only results that have the word Bluebook in the title field.

Catalog search options
Abbreviation Data type
ti: title
au: author
kw: keyword
se: series
pb: publisher
yr: year
nu: call number
lc: Library of Congress classification number

To search for particular types of materials, enter the abbreviation for the material type with an additional search term. For example, research AND mt=bks

WorldCat Discovery recognizes several material types, including the following:

Material Types
Abbreviation Material type
mt=bks books
mt=mic microform
mt=url online
mt=vid dvd, video

Library of Congress Classification

The Law Library uses the Library of Congress classification scheme to organize materials. K is the class for legal materials, and the majority of resources held by the library are shelved under K. Other classes also appear in the Law Library, such as social sciences materials shelved under H, although these are less common.

Understanding how the materials you are looking for are classified makes browsing the library shelves much easier.

Legal Class K

The legal classification, K, has several subclasses, including the following:

  • K : Law in general. Comparative and uniform law. Jurisprudence
  • KB : Religious law in general. Comparative religious law. Jurisprudence
  • KBM : Jewish law
  • KBP : Islamic law
  • KBR : History of canon law
  • KBU : Law of the Roman Catholic Church. The Holy See
  • KD - KDK : United Kingdom and Ireland
  • KDZ : America. North America
  • KE : Canada
  • KF : United States
  • KG : Latin America - Mexico and Central America - West Indies. Caribbean area
  • KH : South America
  • KJ - KKZ : Europe
  • KL - KWX : Asia and Eurasia, Africa, Pacific Area, and Antarctica  
  • KZ : Law of nations

All of these classes break down further to cover specific topics, jurisdictions, and types of laws. For a complete breakdown, choose K in the Library of Congress' guide to classification.


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