The library’s collections serve the Law School’s faculty and students, the University community, and the regional legal community. Two-thirds of the one million volumes in our collection consist of American primary materials (cases, statutes, regulations, etc.) and secondary sources such as journals, scholarly monographs, loose-leaf services, and federal legislative histories.
Foreign, international and comparative law materials comprise a third of Biddle’s total collection. Biddle 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.
Biddle also subscribes to an array of databases, indexes, e-journals, online catalogs and recommended web sites. LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law provide online access to primary sources plus the standard citators, digests, journals and treatises, and to many additional electronic resources. Other electronic resources may be accessed by subject, through the A-Z list, or though the LOLA online catalog. Electronic and print journals may be found in the full text electronic journal list. Biddle’s electronic also holdings include the Video/DVD Library, most of which are cataloged in LOLA as well.
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 preserves, promotes, and provides access to the papers and records of two major legal organizations: The American Law Institute (ALI), and the National Bankruptcy Archives. The archives also houses a number of smaller manuscript collections, including the personal papers of early Penn Law Dean and ALI co-founder William Draper Lewis, Penn Law graduate and Philadelphia lawyer Bernard G. Segal, and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge David L. Bazelon. Also within the special collections is the Raymond F. Trent Collection which 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.
This library is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents. Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law. (Title 44 United States Code).