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About the Library

The Biddle Law Library’s collections serve the Law School’s faculty, students, and staff, the University community, and the regional legal community. Two-thirds of the one million volumes in the collection consist of American primary sources and secondary sources such as journals, scholarly monographs, loose-leaf services, and federal legislative histories.

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Biddle Collections

Foreign International & Comparative Law Collection

Student in the library stacks Foreign, international, and comparative law materials comprise a third of Biddle’s total collection. The library extensively collects treaties, decisions of international courts, and official documents of the European Union, United Nations, World Trade Organization, and other key international institutions.

National laws and court decisions are also collected, with particularly strong holdings for the United Kingdom, Canada, India, Australia, France, Germany, and Poland. Historical strengths of the collection include 19th and early 20th century sources in English, French, German, Roman, Eastern European, Soviet/Russian, and Latin American law.


Digital Collection

Students sitting at table in Biddle Law Library The library subscribes to several databases, indexes, e-journals, ebooks, and catalogs.

Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law provide online access to primary sources plus the standard citators, digests, journals, and treatises.





Archives & Special Collection

Books on a table The holdings of the Archives and Special Collections Department are divided into three main categories: rare books, archives, and manuscripts.

The rare books collection spans the late 15th-mid 19th centuries and includes approximately 10,000 titles. The collection includes English reports, statutes, and treatises; early French legal sources; 16th and 17th century treatises on Roman and Canon law; and American colonial and early state materials.

The archives preserve, promote, and provide access to the papers and records of two major legal organizations: The American Law Institute (ALI) and the National Bankruptcy Archives.

The archives also house a number of smaller manuscript collections, including the personal papers of early Law School Dean and ALI co-founder William Draper Lewis, Law School graduate and Philadelphia lawyer Bernard G. Segal, and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge David L. Bazelon.

Within the special collections, the Raymond F. Trent Collection consists of books, periodicals, articles, and audio tapes concerning the education and practice of black lawyers in America from the 19th century to the present.