Law Library

Georgetown University Law Library: 1887-2013

  • 1870-1872
    Georgetown Law School started in 1870, and matriculated 25 male students for $80 a year, at the American Colonization Society Building at Penn. Ave. & 4 ½ St., N.W., now the National Gallery of Art. They shared space with a Chinese restaurant.
  • 1870-1887
    The U.S. Capitol Library, later the Law Library of Congress, was open "seven hours daily" for law students. Law School Founder Charles W. Hoffman was the law librarian here from 1873 to 1893, while he was also the 1st Dean of the Law School (1876-1891).
  • 1872-1882
    The Law School first moved in 1872 to the Old Washington Seminary, Gonzaga Hall, at 915 F St., N.W., but still no law library.
  • 1882-1884
    In 1882, the Law School moved again, to the Lenman Building on New York Ave., N.W. (the white building), and still no law library.
  • 1887…and then there was a law library
    The first card catalog was printed in 1888
    For the use of students & alumni
    Materials could not be checked out
    With no mention of any library staff
  • 1887-1891
    The hours of operation (the Library of Congress was still open to the Law School)
  • 1891
    In 1891 the Law School moved to its fifth building at 506 E Street, N.W., the first one built and owned by the school, with finally…dedicated space for a law library!
  • The Law Library 1891-1954
    Early Law Library staff members were highly trained, dedicated and professional law students!
  • 1920
    In 1920 the Georgetown Law School expanded around the corner to the Annex on 6th Street and celebrated its 50th anniversary.
  • The Law Library - 1920
    In 1920, the newly remodeled Law Library moved into the old 506 E. Street auditorium.
  • 1935
    Professor Joseph Gaghan became the first Law Librarian appointed since Dean Martin Hoffman in the 1880s. He had a Law degree but not a Library Science degree.
  • 1954
    John Harrison (Harry) Boyles (L'1948) became the second Law Librarian and Professor of Law, and served from 1954 to 1976
  • The law librarians 1954-1971
    Helen Steinbinder (JD 1955, LLM 1956) was the first law librarian with a Master's degree in Library Science. She also became the Law Center's first tenured woman faculty.
  • The Law Library
    A new microcard reader, for the first microfilm, is added to the Law Library in 1955.
  • The Law Library
    The first Lexis computer for students came in 1977, and was available for use for only a few hours each day.
  • The Law Library 1971-1982
    Bernard McDonough Hall in 1971.
  • The Law Library 1971-1982
    Judge Charles Fahy Reading Room in the Fred O. Dennis Law Library on the 2d floor of McDonough Hall
  • The Law Library 1971-1982
    Harry "Terry" S. Martin, III became the 3rd Law Librarian & Professor of Law, from 1976 to 1981.
  • The Law Library 1982-1989
    Robert L. Oakley became the 4th Law Librarian, Law Library Director, and Professor of Law in 1982, serving until his untimely death in 2007.
  • The Law Library 1982-1989
    The first Reference Desk was created in 1982, without any computers yet available.
  • The Law Library 1982-1989
    Law Library staff in 1987 celebrating 100 years; the Williams Library, under construction, is visible in the left background.
  • The Law Library 1982-1989
    The new Edward Bennett Williams Law Library in 1989.
  • Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan at the dedication of the Edward Bennett Williams Law Library on April 14, 1989.
  • The Law Library 2003-2004
    John Wolff International & Comparative Law Library Staff opened in 2004.
  • Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor speaking at the dedication of the John Wolff International and Comparative Law Library.
  • The Law Library 2003-2004
    A public work station in the new Wolff International & Comparative Law Library
  • Georgetown University Law Library 2010-2013
    Michelle Wu, new Professor of Law and Law Library Director, succeeds Robert L. Oakley on October 1, 2010.
  • The Law Library Staff 2012
  • The Law Library
    The Law Library's Dataverse dataset repository.
  • The Law Library Now 2013…
    The Law Library's 2007-2008 award winning online tutorials.
  • Georgetown Univerity Law 1971-2013
    Across three blocks and three centuries, into the future…
  • The Law Library 1887-2013
    Special thanks to Heather Bourk, the Law Center Archivist 2004-2008, Lynn Conway, the University Archivist, and Laura Bédard, late Head of Special Collections, Erin Kidwell, Historical Collections Specialist, Hannah Miller, Manuscripts Librarian and the 125th Anniversary Committee.

    Without the Georgetown Archives, we would never know.

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Google Map Image  of Georgetown - Law Center. Georgetown Law Library 111 G. Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001



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