The collection consists of over 450,000 titles, ranging from rare editions of early New York State laws to a collection of Federal statutes, reports and digests.
The Library's collection is especially strong in current and superceded New York State laws and regulations, both primary and secondary material. Some noteworthy materials include:
- Official Compilation of Code Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (both current and superceded pages),
- Records and Briefs for New York State and Federal Appellate courts,
- early New York law materials, including some from the Colonial period,
- comprehensive New York State Constitutional material,
- Field Codes (the models for many other state's penal and civil codes),
- Early 20th century federal income tax publications, and
- New York State and Federal documents used in legal research.
Library staff are available to assist users with legal research and library materials. Although librarians are not lawyers, they will suggest search strategies and recommend specific titles.
Much of the library's holdings are on Excelsior, the State Library's online catalog. As not all law materials are reflected in the catalog, consultation with library staff may be necessary. Finding aids for Records and Briefs and government documents exist and may need to be consulted.
Library staff have identified Internet sites which are useful in answering questions. These are included in the New York State Library's Internet Bibliographies - Law. See also, the New York State Government Information Locator Services (NYS GILS) page, NYS Resources on Laws and Regulations.
Databases (on-site) include Congressional Universe, IndexMaster, LegalTrac, Legislative Retrieval System, LoisLaw, McKinney's Consolidated Laws of New York State, State Session Laws and State Capital Universe.
Dialog and Westlaw are searched by library staff only -- call reference services at (518) 474-5355, or email (fee for non-State employees). Specific information about holdings and other online legal resources can be found on the Legal Resources page.