The Jerome Hall Law Library has joined with the Ruth Lilly Law Library of the IU McKinney School of Law on a project to digitize the print collections of the Indiana Code, from inception to the present, and make it freely available, according to Susan deMaine, director of the Jerome Hall Law Library.
"The print collections of IU’s two law libraries are far more complete than anything available online," deMaine explained. "Currently, there is no free online public access to the Indiana Code predating the 2009 Code available via the Indiana General Assembly’s website, and paid access—HeinOnline, Westlaw, and Lexis—offers no codes between 1921 and 1990."
This project was launched in 2019 at the Ruth Lilly Law Library, in cooperation with IUPUI’s Center for Digital Scholarship, by deMaine and Benjamin Keele, ’08. Since becoming director of the Jerome Hall Law Library in 2020, deMaine has planned for the Law School to join the project, helping it become a reality.
At this time, the project is focused on completing the work of scanning and processing 1971 to the present and creating a public-facing interface. This interface will allow users to navigate to a particular year of the code and then to a title, article, chapter, and section.
DeMaine added that existing digital files from the Indiana Legislative Services Agency have greatly aided the effort, providing content back to 2001 without the necessity of scanning. The LSA has also given the necessary permissions to provide free access to the Code. In addition, the Libraries have received copyright permission from Thomson Reuters, which printed the Code on behalf of the state from 1976 to 2001, and claims rights in the section headings, tables, and indexes.
Although the recent purchase of a preservation-quality book scanner enables safe and fast scanning, deMaine said that the project is still expected to take several years. Updates will be provided in forthcoming issues of ergo.
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