The U.S. Congress passes a bill to establish a library for its use.
The Library of Congress opens in the U.S. Capitol Building (May 1801).
President James Madison grants the U.S. Supreme Court the use of the Library of Congress.
The Library’s 174 law titles are destroyed in the British attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Former President Thomas Jefferson sells his personal library to Congress, including 475 law titles.
Senator Robert Goodloe Harper calls for a separate law library.
An Act of Congress on July 14 creates the Law Library, located in the U.S. Capitol.
Charles Henry Wharton Meehan is appointed the first Law Librarian.
The first separate catalog for law books is printed.
After the war with Mexico, the U.S. Congress instructs the Law Library to obtain all available Mexican constitutions.
A second fire in the Capitol occurs and many Library books are destroyed, but the law collections go unscathed, including Jefferson’s law books.
Law Library moves to the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the U.S. Capitol.
The Thomas Jefferson Building opens to house the Congressional Library. The Law Library remains in the Capitol Building.
On the occasion of its 75th anniversary, the Law Library mounts an exhibition with the American Association of Law Libraries.
The Law Library assumes responsibility for foreign and comparative legal research, while American law and public policy research become the purview of the Legislative Reference Service, later known as the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
Main site of the law collection is established in the Thomas Jefferson Building’s Northeast Pavilion, while Law Library remains in the Capitol.
John T. Vance, scholar and diplomat, becomes 13th Law Librarian. Vance helps to establish the Law Library’s reputation as a foreign law research center.
On the occasion of the Law Library’s centennial, the American Bar Association establishes a Committee on the Facilities of the Law Library of Congress to increase support from Congress and the bar.
George Wickersham founds the Friends of the Law Library.
The Law Library’s administrative ties with the Supreme Court end.
The first Foreign Law Division is established.
Hispanic Index begins in response to congressional research interests spurred by the Cold War.
The Law Library moves from the Old Supreme Court Chamber to another location in the Capitol.
Law Librarian Carleton W. Kenyon establishes a publication series to make research originally done for Congress available to the public.
The Law Library moves into the James Madison Building.
The World Law Bulletin is launched to provide Congress with a monthly overview of developments in foreign and international law.
The Law Library participates in the congressionally mandated Parliamentary Development Project (“Frost Taskforce”) to help developing nations in Eastern and Central Europe establish their own legislative information service.
The Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) is established.
The Law Library begins providing foreign legal research to the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the Department of Justice.
Rubens Medina is appointed the 21st Law Librarian of Congress.
The Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) database, designed to share the laws of member nations in the vernacular, goes online.
GLIN debuts on the Library of Congress’s Web site. A Memorandum of Understanding between the Law Library of Congress and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) provides satellite technology assistance to GLIN partner countries.
The Law Library’s pioneer digitization effort, “A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774–1873” is released to the public.
As part of the Library of Congress’s bicentennial, the Law Library coordinates a symposium titled “Democracy and the Rule of Law in a Changing World Order.”
The September 11 terrorist attacks necessitate the preparation of a multinational study of the foreign legal response to terrorism.
The Law Library hosts the first in a series of Holmes Debates. Hosted by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, the subject is “The Bounds of Post 9/11 Freedoms.”
The Law Library continues to expand its online resources by acquiring the entire online file of the laws of Kenya.
The Global Legal Monitor, an online monthly publication, debuts with foreign and international law articles.
The Law Library of Congress marks its 175th anniversary with a yearlong series of events. A significant milestone is reached when the collection grows to 2.6 million items.