"Nota Bene" means "note this well" or "take particular notice." We at the O'Quinn Law Library will be posting tips on legal research techniques and resources, developments in the world of legal information, happenings at the Law Library, and legal news reports that deserve your particular attention. We look forward to sharing our thoughts and findings and to hearing from you.

N.B: Make a note to visit "Nota Bene" regularly.

-Spencer L. Simons, former Director, O'Quinn Law Library and Associate Professor of Law



Monday, December 12, 2016

Digital Access to the Congressional Record Expanded

A few weeks ago, the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the Library of Congress released for the first time public access to electronic versions of digitized historical content. The GPO has partnered with the Library of Congress to release the digital version of the bound Congressional Record from 1981-1990 on GPO's GovInfo website (https://www.govinfo.gov/). This release covers debates and proceedings of the 98th thru the 101st Congresses, exactly as it appears in the permanent bound editions. Prior to this release, there were no official digital releases of the Congressional Record during the 1980s that the public could access freely online. The GPO and the Library of Congress  released the digital version of the historical Congressional Record for the 1990s in September and will continue to collaborate on this important project and release digital versions of the bound Congressional Record back to the first one published by GPO on March 5, 1873.

The GPO’s GovInfo website will eventually replace the Federal Digital System (FDsys) public website. As of this writing the GovInfo site and its content are in beta-testing, but anything you are used to finding through FDsys can now be accessed through GovInfo. GovInfo, with a cleaner design, increased search and browse options, and mobile-friendly interface will eventually replace FDsys.

Law Center users who would like to access digital versions of the complete Congressional Record are currently able to do so through HeinOnlin's U.S. Congressional Documents library. It is heartening, though, to see that all citizens now  have increased access to the reports of Congress throughout our nation’s history.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

New Edition of The Plum Book Released


Every four years after the presidential election, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs or the House Committee on Government Reform releases the new edition of The Plum Book.  According to the govinfo website, this publication includes information regarding “over 7,000 Federal civil service leadership and support positions in the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government that may be subject to noncompetitive appointment, nationwide.”  The Plum Book was first published in 1952 as a way to identify presidentially appointed positions.

The 2016 Plum Book is now available on the govinfo website as a PDF file, but it is also available as a mobile website, which will allow users to filter the positions in a number of ways such as by agency, location, and appointment type. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Federal Jurisdiction, 7th Edition

Wolters Kluwer has just published the 7th edition of Federal Jurisdiction by Erwin Chemerinsky, which is now available on the law library's new titles shelf (located next to the public computer terminals across from the reference desk, under the call number KF8858.C48). This source, a part of the Aspen Student Treatise Series, covers topics related to constitutional and statutory limits on federal court jurisdiction, federal court relief against governments and government officers, and federal court review of state judgments and proceedings. There is a table of cases, subject index, and the appendices contain the full text of the U.S. Constitution along with relevant statutes. This treatise is is an excellent source to supplement exam preparation.