The United States was founded on the principles of English common law. The State Law Library reflects this tradition. Since its founding in 1826, the Library has always maintained a core collection of English primary and secondary sources. Although current acquisitions in this area appear primarily online and on microfilm, the Library continues to preserve old nominative reports, Statutes of the Realm, and many historical legal reporters.
The Library has had the good fortune of being managed for nearly two centuries by dedicated and professional staff, and the collection reflects that. Today, the Library's collection development team carries on this tradition by giving careful consideration to the quality and value prospective purchases may bring to the Library.
Importantly, the Library Staff recognizes the importance and ease-of-use of legal databases and advocates usage of these resources whenever practical. However, at the present time, the preservation aspects of proprietary databases present some significant challenges. Because the Library's mission is to preserve legal resources for future generations, for now, it is necessary to acquire and maintain many legal information resources in print and microform, formats that are easily preserved.
The Staff welcomes all Marylanders to utilize this exceptional collection. After all, the Library's access is unrestricted to any type of user—there are no membership dues or restrictions during exam periods. Users can always seek friendly, helpful guidance from the Library's experienced, professional reference staff.