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Foreign Law: How to Find It: Library Holdings

Tips for finding primary sources from foreign countries.

By Country

Go to the Library Catalog at You can search by keyword, subject, or call number. The Library has a large collection of materials from around the world. While some regions have more coverage than others, there are at least some materials from almost every country so give it a look. This often includes documents in the original language and English translations. 

The Library organizes call numbers according to the Library of Congress classification system. You can find the call numbers for every country in the world here

By Subject

Some legal materials will be reproduced in collections with other legal materials. These could be classified under the general region or under the legal subject so it makes it more difficult to find a specific document. Please see a reference librarian should you need assistance. You may want to try the advanced keyword search so you can use more than one word, such as the geographic region and the subject matter. 

A few examples include:

  • Central and East European Legal Materials (Vratislov Pechota ed., Supp. 2015). KJC 6414.4 1990. 
  • Constitutions of the World (1995). K 3157 .E5 M33 1995. 
  • Constitutions of Dependencies and Territories (Philip Raworth ed., Supp. 2015). K 3157 .E5 C65 1998.
  • International Family Law Deskbook (2012). K 670 .E845 2012. Overviews major issues in family law with citations to primary sources. 
  • Marriage and Divorce Laws From Around the World (1988). K 675 .R56 1988. A bit outdated, but provides great summaries. These types of materials are particularly helpful with historical research (or for comparison purposes) when older primary materials are not readily accessible. 
  • Law of Property in the European Community (EEC Comm'n, Approximation of Legislation Series No. 27, 1976). KJE 1251 .L3 1976. Easy to understand summaries, quotations, and citations to primary materials. 

These types of collections are particularly prevalent in European Community/Union materials regarding areas of the law that are subject to, or potentially subject to, harmonization of national laws. We have many of these materials in the Library, and they can be found online in many potential places: EUR-Lex (access to EU law), EU Bookshop (includes free research materials), and the Archive of European Integration

Search Tip!

Enter the name of the country in the keyword search box at the top of the page. This will help you find primary materials from the country but also related materials that may be classified differently. Take this collection of entries from Uzbekistan as an example: