852 Rare: Preserving Digital Media at HLS: First Steps

Whether you’re familiar with archives or not, unless you work in one all day you might think of them as mysterious locked rooms full of old (dare I say, “dusty”) books with intricate bindings, manuscripts crafted hundreds of years ago in no-longer-spoken tongues and script, and artifacts once owned by famous people. HLS Library’s Historical and Special Collections does contain “treasures” like these but a much larger portion of our collection is made up of manuscripts that tell the stories of the lives of legal scholars, lawyers, and judges, regardless of fame or fortune. These items make long physical journeys from someone’s home or office through archivists’ hands, workspaces, and many other processes before finally being ready for access by our researchers.

But digital media has turned traditional archiving on its head. With formats and technology evolving much faster than the technology of papermaking and bookbinding, how do we preserve today’s records? Over the past 5 years, we have been building a program that will support the imminent inundation of digital records and allow us to be more nimble through new practices such as on-demand collecting. We already house an array of historic digital media, such as floppy disks, computers and laptops containing twenty or thirty-year-old hard drives, zip disks, files on CDs, and much more.

Image collage of media from a recent acquisition.

A few pieces of media from a recent acquisition. Clockwise, starting top left: HP Omnibook, 1997; La Cie external hard drive, 1994; HP OmniBook’s internal hard drive, 1997; Apple internal hard drive and its laptop computer, ca. 1994; IBM ThinkPad and its internal hard drive, 2004.

To preserve these, we use digital forensics techniques (yes, similar to what law enforcement units do in a criminal investigation!) to safely transfer files off of obsolete media and stabilize them on a secure server space managed by HLS ITS. We have an array of equipment to read the media, such as 3.5” floppy controllers and an UltraDock writeblocker that connects to over 10 different types of media such as internal hard drives and SD memory cards. We have a computer equipped with the Linux-based open-source BitCurator environment to extract metadata and perform many other activities on the disks we’ve stabilized. We recently added a Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device Laptop (FRED-L) to our arsenal in anticipation of going out into the field and imaging media straight from donors’ offices or homes, without having to bring obsolete media into the archives at all (yes, I’m sorry to tell you, but that floppy disk is going to be unreadable someday whether you’ve got a working drive for it or not!).

FRED-L and UltraKit

FRED-L and UltraKit

But, all of this actually only solves the FIRST step of archiving – transferring files to the archive. A bit more complicated than going to an office to pick up boxes, but also pretty fun. We are currently working on the rest of the workflow – extracting files from stabilized disk images, migrating them to readable formats (WordPerfect for DOS, anyone?), and making them available through our finding aids in OASIS. I’ll be sharing more about these processes and milestones as we reach them, so come back to Et Seq for more digital preservation 852 Rare posts!

New Title Spotlight: Restorative Justice and Mediation in Penal Matters

It’s been a great month for discovering new titles in our collection that will appeal to comparative law researchers! The latest title that caught my eye provides a survey of criminal justice ADR practice in 36 (36!) European countries:

Restorative Justice and Mediation in Penal Matters: A Stock-Taking of Legal Issues, Implementation Strategies and Outcomes in 36 European Countries
Frieder Dünkel, Joanna Grzywa-Holten, Philip Horsfield (eds.)
Forum Verlag Godesberg, 2015
(2 volumes)

The editors’ goal in compiling this collection was to “know what there is in Europe today in terms of [Restorative Justice] RJ in penal matters, what the driving forces have been for introducing RJ, how it has been implemented in legislation and on the ground, and what role it plays (central or peripheral) in criminal justice practice.” (p. 3)

Each country report includes an in-depth discussion of active and proposed Victim Offender Mediation (VOM) programs for both adult and juvenile offenders.

Highlights include:

Austria’s NEUSTART program includes three options: “VOM, community service, and probation assistance.”  The use of VOM has been studied there for several years and has shown interesting results, including the public prosecutor dismissing criminal charges in 78% of cases in which VOM was used. (pp. 34-35)

The laws of the Czech Republic provide several RJ-oriented options to “the full range of criminal justice stakeholders: the police, public prosecutors, Probation and Mediation Service, offenders, and victims[.]” These include VOM, conciliation (narovnání) hearings, and both “conditional discontinuance” and abandonment of criminal prosecution. (pp. 171-74)

In Finland, “[f]our structures serve the interests of the victim’ restorative needs[,]”:

  • Insurance and civil law compensation schemes
  • The state compensation system
  • Diversion in the form of non-prosecution
  • Mediation

The Finnish government has an extensive network of agencies to oversee and facilitate mediation in criminal cases, including “the Ministry of Social and Welfare Affairs…, the Advisory Board on Mediation in Criminal Cases, the mediation office, and the mediation officer in charge.” The use of mediation in Finnish criminal cases has been extensively researched, and data about mediation participants and their relative satisfaction with the mediation process is included in the report. (pp. 243-62)

Romania’s Law on Mediation and the Mediator Profession (Law No. 192/2006, published in the Official Gazette No. 441 on May 22, 2006) “regulates…the procedure and characteristics of mediation in penal matters.”  This law was amended in 2009 (Law 370/2009), “introduc[ing] the duty of justice officials to inform the parties about the availability of mediation.” The report provides an extensive explanation of the statutory requirements for the mediation process required under this law, and it also discusses the results of 2010 survey of public prosecutors and judges regarding the use and acceptance of VOM in criminal proceedings. (pp. 697-719)

The report from Ukraine features a discussion of the work done to advocate for the use of RJ in criminal proceedings by “civil society organizations,” including the Ukrainian Centre for Common Ground (UCCG). This organization first introduced a pilot program of VOM in criminal cases in Ukraine in 2003. Currently, the UCCG’s work includes providing training for mediators who offer mediation services in the 14 Community Restorative Justice Centres (CRJCs) across the country. (pp. 989-1005)

This resource provides a wealth of information for comparative research of criminal justice, ADR, and European legislation. Each report is highly readable and helpfully annotated with primary and secondary source references.  The national experts who wrote these reports have done us a real service in contributing their knowledge to these volumes. It is definitely worth a look if your interests lie in any of these areas.

New Title Spotlight – Arbitration in Africa: A Review of Key Jurisdictions

The law library recently added an important title to its collection for foreign and international arbitration research:

An Introduction to Arbitration in Africa: A Review of Key Jurisdictions
John Miles, Tunde Fagbohunlu SAN and Kamal Rasiklal Shah
Sweet and Maxwell, 2016
Law Library Lewis/ILS basement stacks, KQC500 .M55 2016

This book provides information about the legal systems and arbitration laws and procedures (including enforcement and appeal of arbitration awards) of many African jurisdictions. It is organized as follows:

Arbitration in Africa: A Review of Key Jurisdictions, by John Miles, Tunde Fagbohunlu SAN and Kamal Rasiklal Shah (2016)

North Africa:

Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia

The East African Community and Ethiopia:

Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda

Southern Africa:

Botswana, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe

English-Speaking West Africa:

Ghana, Nigeria

African Lusophone Countries:

Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique

The Islands of Africa:

Cape Verde, Madagascar, Mauritius, Sao Tome and Principe

Arbitration under the OHADA System:

Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guinea (Conakry), Togo

The book also provides a list of African countries that are signatories to the ICSID convention, and lists of the bilateral investment treaties (BITs) into which African countries have entered.

Open for research: The Records of the Cambridge Tenants’ Union

Historical & Special Collections is pleased to announce the opening of a new modern manuscript collection for research — the Records of the Cambridge Tenants’ Union.

Flyer, Cambridge Tenants' Union. Records, 1967-1999, Box 10, folder 5

Flyer, Cambridge Tenants’ Union. Records, 1967-1999, Box 10, folder 5

 

The Cambridge Tenant’s Union (CTU) Records cover the entirety of the organization’s period as an active group in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 1986 – 1999. There are also documents from the group’s predecessor, the Cambridge Rent Control Coalition, dating back to 1967. The bulk of this collection is organizational records and materials related to the Cambridge Tenants’ Union’s political and legal activism. Also included are studies and reports, involvement with other groups, and press coverage of relevant issues. The majority of the collection is textual, comprising of correspondence, logs, petitions, flyers, publications, questionnaires, pamphlets, studies, clippings, newspapers, and related printed matter. Other formats present are a small number of items such as buttons, postcards, and cassette tapes.

The Records of the Cambridge Tenants’ Union is open to all researchers. Anyone interested in using the collection should contact Historical & Special Collections to schedule an appointment.

Posted on behalf of Rachel Scavera by Edwin Moloy.

 

Book Series Spotlight: German Law Accessible

IMG_3726

Tax Law in Germany (2nd Edition, 2016)

The law library’s collection includes many English-language materials on German law. One especially helpful resource is the German Law Accessible series of books, published by the German legal publisher C.H. Beck.

Many of the titles in the German Law Accessible series focus on subjects related to commercial/business law. The most recent title in this series is no exception – it is the 2016 2nd edition of Tax Law in Germany (3rd floor of the Law Library’s ILS/Lewis Collection, call number KK7105.8 .H33 2016). Its authors, Florian Haase and Daniela Steierberg, are tax law experts in the Hamburg office of the international financial consulting firm Rödl & Partner.

In the introduction, the authors describe their book as being “written from a practitioner’s perspective…[offering] a succinct description of the law together with lots of examples.”  However, despite its practitioner-oriented focus, this book provides an ideal opportunity for academic researchers who do not read German to learn about taxation in Germany.  Subjects covered in the books include an overview of the German legal tax system, taxation issues related to corporations and partnerships, special tax problems involving cross-border investments, transfer pricing, and much more.

For more information about researching German law at HLS, visit our German Law Research Guide at http://guides.library.harvard.edu/GermanLaw.

New exhibit: What (Not) to Wear: Fashion and the Law

fashion triptych displays 2-hlslHistorical & Special Collections is pleased to announce that the new exhibit, What (Not) to Wear: Fashion and the Law is now on view in the Caspersen Room on the fourth floor of Langdell Hall.

Though law and fashion may not initially seem like overlapping domains, given the central nature of each of these fields to our lives, it is no surprise that they do have an impact on one another. Over the centuries, fashion has been important to decisions about how jurists visually demonstrate their expertise, and law has served to circumscribe how fashion is created, distributed, and consumed.

What Not to Wear: Fashion and the Law, guest curated by research library staff Mindy Kent, Meg Kribble, and Carli Spina (now of Boston College!), is on view in the HLS Library Caspersen Room daily 9am-5pm through August 12, 2016.

Can’t get to Cambridge? Our online exhibit is now available as well!

Congrats to Robert Niles!

We’re happy to announce that a Harvard Law School student was among ten winners of the 2016 Bloomberg Law Write-On Competition. Robert Niles is in his final year of the J.D./M.B.A. program at Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. His article, Did Reed v. Town of Gilbert Silence Commercial Speech Doctrine? Early Signs Point to No, was recently published in U.S. Law Week. Bloomberg Law subscribers can read it at the link.

Congratulations, Robert!

Summer 2016 Access to Legal Research Databases and More

Got questions about using your Bloomberg, Lexis, or Westlaw accounts over the summer?  Here’s what you need to know about using each of the legal research databases.

BLOOMBERG LAW
If your workplace has a Bloomberg Law account, you are expected to use that, but there are no restrictions on your HLS Bloomberg accounts over the summer. Need an account? Just sign up with your HLS email address.

For questions and assistance, please contact our Bloomberg rep, Eric Malinowski.

LEXIS 
Your law school ID will let you access Lexis Advance all summer for:

  • Academic, professional, and non-profit research (note: some employers may give you an ID to use for work purposes)
  • All legal content and news you have as a law student
  • Unlimited hours per week

You do not have to register for this access. Your law school ID will remain active all summer for the above purposes and you will continue earning points as well! Summer access begins on the date your classes end through the date your classes begin in the fall. Normal law school terms of service apply outside of these dates.

New graduates, your school Lexis IDs will automatically turn into graduate Lexis IDs on July 01, 2016. Graduates can use Lexis Advance to study for the bar, prepare for job interviews, and at their new position. They will have unlimited access to Lexis Advance until Dec 31, 2016.

For questions and assistance, please contact our Lexis rep, Reeves Gillis.

WESTLAW
Current students may extend the access on their student Westlaw passwords for the summer if you are:

  • working for a law review or journal
  • working as a research assistant for a law professor
  • doing moot court work
  • taking summer law school classes, or completing papers or other academic projects for spring semester
  • doing an unpaid private non-profit (non-government) intern/externship or pro bono work required for graduation

Law school student passwords may not be used for government offices or agencies, law firms, corporations or other purposes unrelated to law school academic work.

To extend your password for summer access, visit this Westlaw password extension page.

New law school graduates may extend their Westlaw subscription through November 30, 2016 by completing a short survey. This extension will begin on June 1, 2016 and will last through November 30, 2016. It will allow graduates a total of 60 hours of access during that six month period (6 months or 60 hours).

For questions and assistance, please contact our Westlaw rep, Mark Frongillo.

OTHER DATABASES
And of course you also have full access over the summer to most other library resources at Harvard simply using your HUID and PIN. So if you need JSTOR, HeinOnline, Academic Search Premier or most other databases, you’re all set!

QUESTIONS?
If you have questions about summer access, or any research-related questions over the summer, you can always contact the library. Our full contact details are available at Ask a Librarian.

End of year guides to Bluebook and exams success

As another academic year winds to its end, we wanted to let you know about two new library guides that HLS students may find useful.

First, especially for LLM students who are finishing up their papers, but also useful for JD students doing scholarly writing, is our guide Bluebook Citation for LLM Students. This guide contains slides from the Library’s Bluebook classes, helpful charts, and frequently asked questions and answers, including dealing with non-English sources, American writing conventions, and what to do when the Bluebook doesn’t seem to have a rule for your type of source.

Second is our guide Prepare for HLS Exams intended for all students. This guide rounds up information and resources available in the Library and elsewhere at HLS that can help you successfully through one of the most stressful times in law school. It includes books at the library about taking law school exams, study guides and tools, guides to 1L topics, and ideas for short study breaks. We also include links out to general exam info at the Registrar’s office and the Dean of Student Office’s Wellness program.

We wish you success on finishing your papers, projects, and exams. As always, free earplugs are available at the reference and circulation desks!

Special Ticketed Event! Cass R. Sunstein, “The World According to Star Wars,” Mon. May 23, at 6 pm, Brattle Theatre Cambridge

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk in celebration of Professor Cass Sunstein’s recently published book, The World According to Star Wars (Harper Collins).

Monday May 23, 2016 at 6 pm
Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA  (Directions)

Doors open at 5:30 pm.  Festive attire welcome!

Tickets required for this event.

General admission tickets are available for $5.00 and include a $5.00 coupon for the Harvard Bookstore.

General admission tickets available online, in person at the Harvard Book Store, and by phone at (617)661-1515 beginning April 26, 2016.

Any remaining tickets will be on sale at the Brattle Theatre when the doors open at 5:30 pm.

sunstein star wars brattle theatre poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“A deeply original celebration of George Lucas’s masterpiece as it relates to history, presidential politics, law, economics, fatherhood, and culture by Harvard legal scholar and former White House advisor.

There’s Santa Claus, Shakespeare, Mickey Mouse, The Bible, and then there’s Star Wars. Nothing quite compares to sitting with down with a young child and hearing the sound of John Williams’ score as those beloved golden letters fill the screen. In this fun, erudite and often moving book, Cass R. Sunstein explores the lessons of Star Wars as they relate to childhood, fathers, the Dark Side, rebellion, and redemption. As it turns out, Star Wars also has a lot to teach us about constitutional law, economics, and political uprisings.

In rich detail, Sunstein tells story of the films’ wildly unanticipated success and what it has to say about why some things succeed while others fail. Ultimately, Sunstein argues, Star Wars is about the freedom of choice and our never-ending ability to make the right decision when the chips are down. Written with buoyant prose and considerable heart, The World According to Star Wars shines new light on the most beloved story of our time.” — Harper Collins

“In this gem of a book, Cass Sunstein uses the Star Wars series to explore profound questions about being a parent, a child, and a human. It will change the way you think about your own journey, might even make you pick up the phone and call your dad.” — Walter Isaacson

“Irresistibly charming, acclaimed legal scholar Sunstein writes partly as a rigorous academic and partly as a helpless fanboy as he explores our fascination with Star Wars and what the series can teach us about the law, behavioral economics, history, even fatherhood. This book is fun, brilliant, and deeply original.” — Lee Child

“In this remarkable, book Sunstein manages to connect invisible gorillas, hit songs, conspiracy theories, and constitutional law. For anyone who loves the movies, or loves to think about how the world works, or simply loves their father “The World According to Star Wars” will provoke and inspire.” — Duncan Watts, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and author of Everything is Obvious (Once You Know the Answer)

“Smart and interesting.” — Kirkus Reviews