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Using The LSU Law Library Archives

An introduction to the unique holdings and policies of the LSU Law Library Archival Collections and a beginner's guide to archival research.

Gift Policy

Gifts: The LSU Law Library Archival Collections welcomes the donation of materials that will enhance the collection. The acceptance of gifts is contingent upon the appropriateness of the gift to the archival collections, donor restrictions, and the availability of space and conservation supplies. Because the cost of processing and conservation supplies is considerable, donors are encouraged to make a monetary contribution to cover this expense.

The LSU Law Library Archival Collections does not accept the gift of materials without the completion of a Donation Agreement form, and is only able to accept gifts with the approval of the Library Director. The mission of the Library is to share materials as widely as possible; for that reason, donors are asked to transfer any copyright they hold on the materials to the Paul M. Hebert Law Center Library, in addition to full physical control of the materials. The Library is unable to accept materials to which it cannot own full rights. The transfer of these rights is complete after the Donation Agreement is signed by both parties.

The Library does not accept materials on loan, nor does it accept materials that will never be made available to the public. The Library will consider restricting access to parts of a collection for reasonable periods of time only in the event that such restrictions are needed to protect the privacy of persons still alive. Other special conditions may be specified by the donor in the Donation Agreement, but the LSU Law Library may refuse any donation in which it deems the conditions of use to be overly restrictive.

The LSU Law Library Archival Collections reserves the right to accept or reject gifts, in whole or in part. The Library also reserves the right to dispose of unwanted portions of a gift when they do not meet the scope of materials collected. In these cases, the discarded items may be returned to the original donor, transferred to a more appropriate library/archive, or otherwise handled according to the deaccessioning policy of the LSU Law Library. The disposal method of discarded materials will be agreed on by both parties in the Donation Agreement.

The Library also reserves the right to decline gifts for the following reasons:

  • Inability of the Library to provide suitable space, staffing, or supplies to preserve the materials or make the collection available to the public.
  • The collection contains materials that do not fit within the scope of the Archives.
  • The collection contains materials that can be found in other archives or libraries (ex. newspapers, books, court records and other public documents). This includes photocopies of materials in the possession of another archive or library.
  • The collection contains items irreparably damaged by insects or mold.
  • The collection contains materials in which the donor’s ownership is in question or is disputed.

Donors may examine the materials that they have donated, and, if so desired, can be given a copy of any inventories, finding aids, or other research materials produced by the Library about the donated materials.

Acquisition Policy

The LSU Law Library Archival Collections collects items in the following areas of interest: 

  • Materials in any format that document the history of Paul M. Hebert Law Center, its students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
  • The original research of Paul M. Hebert Law Center faculty and alumni to the extent that it has enduring academic value. 
  • Unique materials related to the history, philosophy, science, and art of law and legal education in Louisiana. 
  • Historical materials related to the military tribunals in Nuremberg, Germany, following World War II.

This list reflects the archives’ central mission, but is not meant to be exclusive. As the needs of the Law Center evolve, new collecting areas in the archives may emerge. Each potential acquisition is reviewed on its own merits. Because supplies and space are limited, collecting is selective in all areas. 

To Those Who Wish To Donate

Those with an interest in donating archival materials to the library should take the following steps:

  • Review our Acquisition Policy to see if your materials align with the stated interests of the Law Library.
  • Gather all of the materials into one location. Remove any items that you wish to keep.
  • Be sure that you have full legal right to donate the materials. When necessary, obtain paperwork to show that you have legal ownership of the items.
  • Contact libraryarchives@law.lsu.edu to speak with the archivist about your materials.

If the Library feels that the materials have the potential to enhance the collection, arrangements will be made for library staff to view the items. In the event that the Library is interested in accepting the donation (a decision that depends on the size of the materials, their condition, and their alignment with the above policy), final approval must be given by the Library Director before the materials can be transferred. Once this approval is obtained, the Library and the donor will complete a Donation Agreement, and the materials will be transferred (legally and physically) to the Library. No gifts will be accepted without approval of the Library Director and a completed Donation Agreement.




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