Locating Materials

Locating Materials

The Law Library follows the Library of Congress (LC) classification system for assigning call numbers and shelf location. An LC call number consists of a series of letters and numbers that indicates the position of an item within the collection (e.g. KF 305 .A5 2005). To identify an item's call number, locate the item in the library's online catalog. For more information on interpreting LC call numbers, proceed to the Call Numbers Guide.

Once you have identified the call number of an item you would like to locate, use the library's floor maps to determine where in the library a particular call number is located.

Reference Collection

A reference collection of almanacs, encyclopedias, directories, dictionaries, yearbooks, and other similar materials is located on Level 2 near the elevator.

Reserve Materials

Reserve items are located behind the Circulation Desk and available on request. Student-oriented single-volume hornbooks and study aids, some multi-volume legal treatises, and other heavily used books may be found there. Materials on reserve may be identified using the library catalog. Reserve items are generally available for use within the library for a period of four hours.

Faculty may place specific items on reserve for their courses. These "course reserve" items may be requested by the name of the professor or by the name of the course. 

Federal Collection

Federal law materials are housed exclusively on Level 2; these materials include the Federal Register, the Code of Federal Regulations, the United States Code, United States Code Annotated and United States Code Service, all of the federal court reports, the federal digests, and major secondary resource titles.

State Collections

The Law Library collects legal materials from the 50 states and the District of Columbia, along with United States Territories. These materials are housed on Level 3, with the exception of the Iowa Collection.

Iowa Collection

The Iowa Collection is shelved on Level 2 to provide a more convenient location for local users of Iowa law. It is as comprehensive as possible, with primary and secondary law materials, as well as government reports and continuing legal education materials.

Government Documents

The Law Library receives a substantial number of print and digital U.S. federal government documents through the Federal Depository Library Program. Documents may be found via the library’s online catalog. Print items are either integrated into the library’s collection or are housed in the UI Independence Road Annex. A significant number of print items have digital versions; we recommend using the digital versions whenever possible. Items located in the Annex may be requested via the online catalog. Iowa documents are incorporated into the Iowa Collection located on Level 2.

The Roy J. Carver United Nations Documents Collection contains microforms of most available UN documents since the founding of that organization through 2013, and is located on Level 1 in Room 130. More recent UN documents are available through the UN Official Documents Search System: http://www.un.org/en/documents/ods/, and the Hein UN database: http://heinonline.org/HOL/Index?index=alpha/A_unl&collection=unl.


Like most of the other materials in the library, periodicals are classified according to the Library of Congress classification system. Anglo-American periodicals are classified K 1-K 30 and are located on Level 2 of the library. Unbound issues of selected titles are displayed on special slanted shelves near the Reading Area on Level 2. Foreign, international and comparative legal periodicals are classified JX 1-JX 18 and are located on Level G. Unbound issues of selected titles of foreign, international and comparative journals are displayed on special slanted shelves near the computer on Level G. State and city bar journals are classified KF 200 and are located on Level 1.

Recent issues of magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals are available in the Reading Area near the couches on Level 2.

Audiovisual Materials

Audiovisual and microform materials are located in Room 130 on Level 1 of the library.

Oversize Materials

Oversize materials of all classifications, including government documents, are located on Level G on the north side of the building, two left turns off the elevator or the stairs.

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