Good Legislation mural in Main Reading Room Lobby by Elihu Vedder

The Law Library of Congress is the largest law library in the world. The law collection currently consists of more than one million titles containing over 2.9 million volumes, and over 3 million micro-format items. About 65,000 of these volumes are housed in the Law Library Rare Book collection. The Law Library has amassed a comprehensive collection of American legal material, a superior collection of legal works from all nations of the world and international/regional organizations for law in general, comparative law, religious law, and nations’ laws. Comprehensive geographically, the collection also spans all periods of law, from the most ancient to the most contemporary. All systems of law—common, civil, customary, and religious—are represented, as are all topics within the field of law.

Serving as the de facto law library of the United States, the Law Library of Congress acquires legal information in the publishing format designated as official by each issuing body, and retains the best archival copy available. The Law Library serves two purposes: first and foremost, foreign and American legal specialists/attorneys on staff develop “law practice libraries” for their countries/international organizations. This will enable them in the future to provide thorough responses to increasingly complex legal questions from Congress, the courts, and executive branch agencies. Questions may require information from 273 existing jurisdictions and 28 international/regional organizations. To support this work, approximately 60% of the collection is in vernacular languages, requiring multi-lingual staff to develop, curate and use the collection. Secondarily, the collection supports onsite and remote library patrons. The Law Library collects legal and legislative materials in paper and digital formats, and actively produces digital surrogates.

Additionally, the collection includes 95,300 reels of microform and 2.9 million pieces of microfiche. On average, the collection grows annually by 40,000 volumes, 1,800 reels of microfilm, 92,000 pieces of microfiche, 40,000 serial pieces and 50,000 official gazettes. Please see our Collection Policy Statement for more information.

LC Classification



Law General


Law – Religious


Law – United Kingdom and Ireland


Law – Canada


Law – United States – Federal


Law – United States – States


Law – United States – Cities


Law – Americas and Latin America


Law of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas


Law – Europe


Law – Asia and Eurasia


Law – Africa


Law – the Pacific Area and Antarctica


Law of Nations (International Law)


Law of the Sea


Law of Space

Last Updated: 03/25/2021