Author Archives: Ann Hemmens

Immigration Records of INS, 1880-1930

Lauinger Library recently added a new database of digitized immigration documents: ProQuest History Vault’s Immigration Records of INS, 1880-1930. The database contains materials from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and its predecessor, the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization. It includes investigative reports and correspondence of agency officials, and documents from advocacy groups (opposing or denouncing) immigration or alien exclusion laws. The documents cover Asian, Mexican, and European immigration. In addition, there are documents related to the agency’s investigations of prostitution and white slavery, as well as anarchists.

Sample documents:

  • Negotiations with Mexico on immigration (1906-1908)
  • Investigation by Oscar Greenhalgh, alleged corruption in Immigration Service (Jan 01, 1905 – Dec 31, 1907)
  • Prostitution and white slavery immigration investigations, repression of prostitution of Kate Waller Barrett & International Council of Women (Dec 01, 1915 – Dec 31, 1915)

As with other Lauinger databases, you can access these remotely, from the Law Campus or home. Please contact a reference librarian if you need assistance with this collection.


ProQuest Statistical Insight

Lauinger Library recently added the Statistical Reference Index to the ProQuest Statistical Insight subscription. This database provides statistical data from U.S. government publications (coverage since 1973; full-text since 2004), state and private sources (coverage since 1980; full-text since 2007), and international statistical publications from entities such as the UN, OECD, EU (coverage since 1983; full-text from 2007).

The database indexes and provides abstracts and full-text, when available, to statistical reports.  The inclusion of Statistical Reference Index helps the researcher locate data published by consumer or trade groups, state governments, businesses, research centers and universities. 

Some examples:

  • Identity Theft Reported by Households, 2007: Statistical Tables (Dept. of Justice)
  • Distracted Driving 2011: Traffic Safety Facts Research Notes (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • Global Health Risks: Mortality and Burden of Disease Attributable to Selected Major Risks 2009 (World Health Organization)

Feel free to ask a reference librarian if you need assistance with this new database.

Control of Social Media after Death

What happens to a person’s Facebook page after they die? What about other social media accounts and digital assets? In New Hampshire the House is considering a bill  that would give control over a decedent’s social media accounts (e.g, Facebook, email, blogs) to the executor of the estate. Other states have addressed the issue via legislation as well, but not all. And the laws vary across the states.

The Uniform Law Commission (also known as the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL)) establishes uniform state legislation that states may adopt, providing some consistency across jurisdictions. In early 2012, NCCUSL established a Study Committee on Fiduciary Powers and Authority to Access Digital Information. The Committee’s description states:

A fiduciary who is administering a decedent’s estate or the affairs of an incapacitated individual needs to be able to find, access, value, protect and transfer the individual’s online accounts and digital property.  Because of the need to provide protection against fraud and identity theft, in recent years it has become increasingly difficult for fiduciaries to obtain the necessary access to digital information promptly and efficiently.  Beginning in 2005 a number of states have enacted legislation covering some of these issues, but the legislation varies greatly.  The study committee will consider and make recommendations concerning the authority and powers of a fiduciary to access digital information related to a decedent’s estate or the affairs of an incapacitated individual.”

The draft document the Drafting Committee reviewed at its first meeting (in the Fall of 2012) is posted online. According to the document, only five states have enacted legislation dealing with fiduciary access to digital assets but several are considering it. The work of the Committee should provide needed guidance to all states.

Improved Free Access to Federal Legislation

On January 10th, House Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor announced that starting with the 113th Congress (2013), the Government Printing Office (GPO) will make all bills and resolutions under consideration by the House, as provided by the House Bill Clerk, available to the public for bulk download in XML format. They have posted a User Guide.  GPO also provides access to individual House and Senate Congressional bills (from the 103rd Congress; 1993 forward) via the FDsys website.

In 2011, the House directed the Clerk to create, providing public access to committee documents and legislation (bills, amendments, resolutions) being considered by the House. Additionally you can access live video streaming from the House floor with your mobile phone or tablet via the House of Representatives’ Houselive website or House Committee activity via the Library of Congress.

Since 1995, as directed by the 104th Congress, the Library of Congress has been making federal legislative information available to the public via the THOMAS website. Here researches can find House and Senate legislative status information (when was a bill was introduced, who sponsored it, a summary of the bill, and legislative activity on the bill). THOMAS includes the text of bills and resolutions (from 101st Congress; 1989 forward), the Congressional Record (from 101st Congress; 1989 forward), committee information (104th Congress; 1995 forward), schedules, calendars, and more. The Library of Congress is working on the next generation of this website,, making it more user-friendly and improving the technological infrastructure.

Library Hours During Winter Break (Dec. 22, 2012 – Jan. 11, 2013)

During the upcoming Winter Break the Library will operate on a reduced hours schedule. These hours are in effect Saturday Dec. 22, 2012 through Friday Jan. 11, 2013. Below you’ll find Williams and Wolff Library Building hours and Circulation Desk Hours. For Reference Hours, please visit the Library Hours Calendar.

Date Building Hours Circulation Hours
Sat. Dec. 22 Williams closes at 7pm; Wolff open 8am-6pm Williams & Wolff 8am-6pm
Sun. Dec 23 Williams & Wolff 12pm-8pm Williams & Wolff 12pm-8pm
Mon. Dec. 24 -Tues. Dec. 25 Williams & Wolff CLOSED  
Wed. Dec. 26-Fri. Dec. 28 Williams 9am-5pm; Wolff CLOSED Williams 9am-5pm
Sat. Dec. 29-Tues. Jan. 1 Williams & Wolff CLOSED  
Wed. Jan. 2-Fri. Jan. 4 Williams 7am-10pm; Wolff 9am-5pm Williams & Wolff 9am-5pm
Sat. Jan.5 Williams 7am-10pm; Wolff 9am-5pm Williams & Wolff 9am-5pm
Sun. Jan. 6 Williams 7am-10pm; Wolff 12pm-8pm Williams & Wolff 12pm-8pm
Mon. Jan. 7-Fri. Jan. 11 Williams 7am-10pm; Wolff 9am-5pm Williams & Wolff 9am-5pm
Sat. Jan. 12 Williams 7am-2am; Wolff 9am-10pm Williams & Wolff 9am-10pm
Sun. Jan. 13 Williams 7am-2am; Wolff 10am-12am Williams & Wolff 10am-12am

Extended Library Hours and Access Restrictions During Exams

As we approach Fall Exam period, Georgetown Law Library’s exam and limited public access period will be in effect Monday Dec. 3 through Saturday Dec. 22.

During the exam period, the Williams Library will remain open 24 hours and Wolff International Library will continue to close at midnight.

For the benefit of Georgetown students studying for exams, only Georgetown University students, faculty, staff, alumni, members of the Friends of the Library program and public patron card holders will be admitted through the end of exams. Students from other law schools will not be admitted during the exam period.

Details about Circulation Desk and Reference Desk availability is found on our Library Hours Calendar. The hours for today are always current on the Library’s Home Page.

New Legislative Website:

In September, the Library of Congress, in collaboration with the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and the Government Printing Office (GPO), unveiled a new free beta website for accessing federal legislative information:

The new website will incorporate the resources researchers have come to rely on from THOMAS, the Library of Congress’ public legislative website and Legislative Information Systems (LIS), Congress’ internal website. The website will be in beta form for approximately one year as they work to add materials (e.g., Congressional Record, committee reports, nominations, treaties and communications) and seek user feedback. Both THOMAS and LIS will continue to be available while is in development.

Currently the site includes federal bills and bill status and summary information (2001-current) and member profiles (complete coverage 1973-current; selective coverage 1947-1972), but more documents will be added over time. See Coverage Dates for Legislative Information  for a comparison of what is available on and The new beta site was developed using best practices for creating a comprehensive and user-friendly system for searching and displaying information on various platforms, including mobile devices.

New Books Display in Williams Library

Starting this week, the Library has a New Books display in Williams Library Reading Room. Look for the booktruck of new titles just inside the doors to the Reading Room. New books will be added to the booktruck Monday through Thursday. After a few days in the Reading Room the books will be shelved in their permanent locations in Williams or Wolff Library. You’ll find books about various legal topics, some with a U.S. law focus and others with a foreign or international law focus. We also acquire popular reading materials for the Loewinger Lounge collection. Examples of some new titles include: The Making of Lee Boyd Malvo: the D.C. Sniper, Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History, and Maritime Piracy. Please feel free to browse and take books you are interested in to the Circulation Desk for checkout. A complete list of new titles added to the Library each month is available online.