Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Interview With Law Library of Congress Junior Fellow Dasha Kolyaskina

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, has been running an interview series featuring members of the library staff. The series started in late October 2010.

The most recent interview is with Dasha Kolyaskina, Junior Fellow:

How would you describe your job to other people?
I’m working with the Hispanic Legal Documents Collection that the Law Library acquired in 1941. The collection is an assortment of law related texts from Spanish-speaking countries from the 15th to 19th centuries. In total, there are 96 boxes of unbound legal manuscripts that include criminal suits, customs documents, public notices and official correspondences, among other subject areas. There aren’t many common threads between the documents, but there are clusters of documents from Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Peru, and Spain.

My work this summer has been to collect data points for each document in the collection–such as jurisdiction, time period, names of parties to proceedings and others–in order to create a finding aid for the collection, which would make it more accessible.

What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library?
I had no idea that the Law Library’s collections were so focused on jurisdictions outside the United States. More than half of the collection items are in languages other than English. The collections for foreign jurisdictions here are sometimes more complete than any collection in the countries that the documents come from, so the Library is able to serve as a reference to those governments.
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:39 pm


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