Special Collections

Indian Law Collection  Land Grant Collection  New Mexico Primary Legal Materials
Rare Book Collection  U.S. Government Publications  Water Law Collection

Indian Law Collection

The Law Library’s Indian Law collection concentrates on U.S. Indian law issues and resources. The Library strives to provide the historical and interdisciplinary information necessary for understanding Indian law issues and seeks to serve faculty, students, practitioners, and New Mexico Native communities. The collection contains numerous sources of tribal materials, such as tribal codes and tribal court reports, as well as a wealth of monographs dealing with the historical and cultural aspects of various tribes. Also included are a complete set of materials on microfiche from the Indian Claims Commission, comprising testimony, briefs, decisions, appellate decisions, and corresponding indexes; online resources, such as the VersusLaw database of tribal court decisions and the U.S. Serial Set digital collection (the equivalent of over 14,000 volumes containing thousands of congressional reports and documents published since 1817, including those related to Indians and Indian affairs); and comparative materials related to the laws of indigenous peoples in other countries. The collection is managed by Law Librarian and Indian Law Selector, Sherri Thomas.

Land Grant Collection

The Land Grant collection consists of bound, Spanish-language compilations of the laws of Spain and Mexico from the early to mid-1800s, as land in New Mexico was being parceled out. Other scholarly monographs and early documents describe the development, and various aspects, of land grants throughout New Mexico's history. Due to the special nature of this collection, access is limited to Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm.

New Mexico Primary Legal Materials

In partnership with the New Mexico Supreme Court Law Library and the Desert States Law Library Consortium, the UNMSOL Library actively collects, preserves, indexes, and makes available for research copies of primary legal materials from the New Mexico territorial and statehood eras. With the growing use of electronic resources for legal research, it is important that the legacy print collection of these legal materials be preserved. The Law Library sees this as one of its primary missions in service to the state. 
The Law Library has joined in an ambitious Desert States Law Library Consortium project to inventory and preserve the pre-statehood and primary legal materials from their six states (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming). Ultimately, the Consortium members will use this information to establish print repositories of primary legal material which will allow member libraries to safely lease electronic access to these materials without also having to individually maintain print copies. Such a repository would ameliorate the risk of loss of access to materials associated with relying solely on commercial database vendors for access. Alternatively, as greater numbers of law libraries move toward electronic access at the expense of print, the creation of print repositories of primary legal material will also help ensure the preservation of original material that is at risk of being discarded in the rush to online access.

Rare Book Collection

The Rare Book collection consists of several hundred volumes, many of which are irreplaceable editions. Coverage includes classics in English law, New Mexico Territorial laws and agency reports, rare editions on Native American law and culture, early laws of other states, and federal agency reports. Also included are materials on the early New Mexico Bar and UNM School of Law. Due to the special nature of this collection, access is limited to Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm.

U.S. Government Publications

The Law Library is a selective depository for U.S. government publications within the Federal Depository Library Program. Our item selection focuses on legal and law-related documents including, for example, congressional materials, administrative regulations, and court opinions. These materials may be integrated into the upper or lower floor collections, shelved in the Law Fed Doc collection in the publicly accessible compact shelving, or available via the Internet on our public computer workstations. We are open to the public. If you do not find the government information you need at the Law Library, please visit the UNM University Libraries which is a Regional Depository and receives everything available on deposit from the Government Printing Office and retains it permanently.

Water Law Collection

This donated collection consists of Prof. Denise Fort's water law materials. It includes hundreds of treatises, monographs, serials, and conference proceedings in all areas of water law, with a special emphasis on Western water law. Prof. Fort's donation represents a significant contribution to the Law Library's water law holdings. The collection is gift-plated and is arranged in call number order within the Law Library collection. See the comprehensive list of titles that have been processed to date.