• East Asian Law Collection

    The Law Library’s East Asian Law Collection contains approximately 4,700 titles and 12,500 volumes, making it one of the largest in the country. The collection is housed on the first floor of the Law Library and contains contemporary and historical legal materials in Chinese as well as English. We have statutes, casebooks, periodicals, legal encyclopedias, major law treatises, and monographs. The focus is on scholarly works intended for use by law professors and students and also on practitioner’s international transaction and business materials.

    Our materials are all cataloged and searchable on Worldcat.org and the online catalog. (To search these CJK titles in the vernacular, click on “Other Catalogs” and select “Viewing Chinese/Japanese/Korean and other Non-Roman scripts in the Catalog.”) East Asian materials are classified in the range of KNN to KPA within the Library of Congress Classification Schedules and are located on the first floor of the Law Library.

    To learn more about the East Asian Law Collection contact Mr. Wei Luo, Director of Technical Services, at luo@wustl.edu or (314) 935-8045.

    Chinese Law Collection

    The Chinese Law Collection is the third largest in the United States, ranking only behind Harvard and the Library of Congress. This collection contains 5,600 titles and 12,300 volumes in Chinese and was started in the 1960’s by the late Professor William C. Jones (1926-2005), an American pioneer in Chinese legal scholarship who was on the faculty of the law school. Most of the collection is housed on the Law Library’s first floor within the classified materials under KNN (pre-1949 Chinese law), KNP (Taiwan), KNQ (P.R. China), and KNR (Hong Kong).

    Click here to view photos of the Chinese Law Collection.

    The Print Collection

    The permanent collection of primary Chinese legal materials includes one set of Chinese laws and regulatory compilations and a number of Chinese case law reporters, including:

    • Ren Min Fa Yuan An Li Xuan (in English this means selected cases from the People’s Courts), selected and published by the Supreme People’s Court monthly since 1992; and
    • Zhongguo Shen Pan An Li Yao Lan (in English this means significant adjudicated case reports), published by the People’s University Press since 1992.

    The law library collects almost all English monographs on Chinese law. However, due to the large number of Chinese secondary sources published in Chinese, the library has restricted the Chinese vernacular collection to legal monographs authored by well-known Chinese legal scholars or junior Chinese legal scholars if the topics are on emerging Chinese legal issues.

    The collection also contains a few sets of Chinese law textbooks used by the top Chinese law schools, plus a limited number of Chinese legal series for practitioners, including:

    • Zhongguo Shen Pan Zhi Dao Cong Shu (these are Chinese trial guides), edited by various tribunals under the Supreme People’s Court and published by the People’s Court Press; and

    Transitioning the Chinese Law Journals Collection from Print to Online

    Past and current issues of almost all Chinese academic law journals are available online via China Academic Journals Database, or via the China Law Info database below.

    The library has subscribed to China Law Info since 2000. China Law Info is a subsidiary of Peking University Law School and became the first Chinese company to develop a computer-assisted Chinese legal research database in both Chinese and English and the most comprehensive Chinese law database.

    China Law Info has a Chinese language site and an English language site. Both are available via the Law Library’s A-Z Database page.

    The Chinese site includes access to almost all Chinese primary legal sources published in Chinese including Chinese national and local legislation and all published cases. It also includes:

    • Chinese law journals database, the “Annotated Chinese Laws” database where more than one hundred Chinese laws are explained article by article;
    • Case commentary database;
    • Guide to Chinese law practice; and several other sub-databases.

    On the English language site, researchers have access to translated versions of:

    • Laws enacted by the National People’s Congress;
    • Administrative regulations promulgated by the Chinese State Council;
    • Judicial interpretations promulgated by the Supreme People’s Courts;
    • Cases adjudicated or published by the Supreme People’s Court;
    • Most of the important Chinese national and local administrative rules, especially related to foreign investment and trade, issued by the national administrative agencies are also translated into English and included in the English translation of Chinese laws and regulations database;
    • English version of the Chinese Law Yearbook.
    • English law journals, Peking University Journal of Legal Studies, Peking University Transnational Law Review, China Legal Science and Peking University Transnational Law Review.
  • Reading Room Collection

    The Reading Room is more than just a pretty face. You will also find current and historic volumes of the Statutes at Large, the United States Code, and all of the federal court reporters, including nominal reporters and USCAAN. You will also find a copy of the current Code of Federal Regulations and United States Code Service. In addition to federal materials is a copy of the Missouri statutes and cases, legal encyclopedias and more. The first floor of the library contains State Materials, primary laws from all of the states. These materials are no longer kept current.

  • Government Documents

    The Law Library is an official selective depository library of the United States government. As a result, administrative and judicial decisions, executive agency reports and other documents issued by the Federal government are included within our collection. Most are concentrated in the print and microform Government Documents collection (second floor), the Federal Materials Collection (fifth floor), Reference (fourth floor), Reserve (fourth floor), and the Reading Room (fourth floor). The publications in the primary Government Documents Collection (on the second floor) are arranged according to the Superintendent of Documents classification system (SuDoc). Some documents have not yet been cataloged in the Law School online catalog. Numerous print and online indexes, however, provide access to the collection.

    Many government documents are available in our Microform Collection. Many others are available electronically, both via commercial online computer databases and www.govinfo.gov. For more information about government documents, their availability and use, contact a Reference Librarian or the Government Documents Librarian.

  • Rare Books & Archives

    Rare BooksThe Law Library contains a selective, yet rich, rare book collection of approximately 1850 titles, including manuscripts and over one hundred fifty pre-1600 imprints. This collection is a valuable resource for legal scholars doing historical research. Use of these materials, housed in the Rare Book Room in Anheuser-Busch Hall on the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis, is by appointment only Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. All titles are non-circulating.

    • To make an appointment to use the materials contained in the Rare Book Collection, contact Frederick Chan, Senior Cataloging Librarian, at fchan@wulaw.wustl.edu or (314) 935-6415.
    • To donate any rare books or to submit detailed questions about the collection, contact Dorie Bertram, Co-Interim Law Library Director at bertram@wustl.edu or (314) 935-6484.

    Click on Rare Book Collection to view a select listing of the collection.

    Click on Rare Book Collection Gallery to view pictures.


    The library maintains a collection of Law School archival material including old and current leaflets, journals, and treatises. Part of the Archives has been cataloged but many items are not yet in the online catalog.

    Some of the more useful material includes the Law School Newsletter (under various titles) for most of the years since 1937, scattered Alumni Directories from 1956, and pamphlets about the history of the Law School, its buildings and the Law Library.

    Use of materials in the Archives is by appointment only. Contact Frederick Chan at fchan@wulaw.wustl.edu or (314) 935-6415.

  • Reserves & Periodicals

    Reserve Collection

    Current issues of periodicals, as well as permanent and temporary Reserve materials, are held behind the Circulation Desk. These materials may be checked out for limited time periods, typically 2 hours, by presenting a picture ID to the desk attendant.

    Permanent Reserve materials include hornbooks; nutshells; Restatements; multimedia materials; Missouri CLE’s and other current practice and high demand materials. The online catalog record for these titles will reflect a location of Law Library Reserve.

    Temporary Reserve materials are those materials which a Professor or group has placed on Reserve for class (or other temporary) use. A listing of temporary reserve materials is available in the online catalog on the “Course Reserves” tab.

    Also available on the Web are Practice Exams, copies of older exams that Professors have placed on Reserve for student use. These exams are in PDF format and require the Adobe Reader. Access is limited to Washington University School of Law Students. Contact a Reference Librarian or your orientation materials for the access code.


    Bound periodicals are located on the 5th floor of the library, organized alphabetically by title and on the 1stfloor room that is under the Reading Room. Recent issues which have not yet been bound are in the Reserve Collection on the 4th floor. Many are available electronically and a search of the online catalog will link you to available access.

  • British Collection

    The British Collection is located in compact shelving on the first floor of the Library. The collection consists chiefly of primary materials from countries now or previously included within the British Commonwealth. Included are reports, digests, yearbooks, encyclopedias and case law from most of the Commonwealth jurisdictions. Geographic areas covered include England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and its provinces, and Australia and its territories. For more information on this collection, contact a reference librarian.