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California
Judicial Center Library


Serving the California Supreme Court
and the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District

California
Judicial Center Library

Serving the California Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District



The California Judicial Center Library (CJCL)

CJCL is a law library serving the Justices and staff of the California Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District and staff of the Judicial Council of California. All state and federal primary legal resources and major secondary legal resources are found in CJCL collections.

CJCL's collections contain more than 200,000 volumes, including all Federal and California primary legal resources and major secondary legal resources. Law reviews and journals of California and other major law schools are available in the library's main collections. Please contact CJCL for additional information by email or phone.

Hours & Location

The library is open 24/7 to its primary clientele, but is not open to the public. Staff services are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm (except State holidays) and by request.

California Judicial Center Library
455 Golden Gate Avenue, Room 4617
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 865-7178
(415) 865-7194 fax
reference@jud.ca.gov

Services

  • Research and reference services.
  • Collection development, including acquisition of suggested or recommended titles.
  • Library orientations and tours.
  • Bibliographic instruction and training in the use of online and other published information resources.
  • Interlibrary loan.
  • Online research databases, including LexisNexis and Westlaw.
  • Maintenance and updating of chambers and central collections.


Celebrating 150 years of the
Library of the Supreme Court of California
1868–2018


Celebrating 150 years of the Library of the Supreme Court of California 1868–2018

Established by statute in 1868 (Stats. 1867-8, ch. 488, p. 659), the Library of the Supreme Court of California was initially located in Sacramento and was maintained for the exclusive use of the justices and officers of the court. The 1868 statute provided for two annual appropriations of $5,000 each “for the purchase of a law library” and established a “Supreme Court Library Fund” for the ongoing support of the library. The legislation also specified the fees that were to be collected by the clerk of the Supreme Court for the purpose of replenishing the library fund. The secretary of the justices of the Supreme Court was authorized by the 1868 statute to serve, under the supervision of the court, as a librarian.

In December of 1869, Carl C. Finkler, the court’s first Secretary and Librarian, submitted an annual report to the Governor. The report, as published in the Sacramento Daily Union on December 15, 1869, noted that a $14,500 contract with Banks & Brothers of New York had been entered into for the acquisition of the bulk of the library. At that time 2,495 volumes had been received by the library and additional books scheduled to arrive from England shortly.

When the Supreme Court began keeping offices and holding many of its regular sessions in San Francisco in 1874, the library came to San Francisco as well. In 1893, the Supreme Court Librarian position was authorized by statute (Stats. 1893, ch. 115, p. 132) and Benjamin Edson became the first Librarian to be appointed by the court. By 1906, the library’s collection had grown to 18,000 volumes and was housed, with the court, in the Parrott Building on Market Street in San Francisco. The records of the court and nearly all of the library’s holdings were destroyed by fire in the wake of the April 18, 1906 earthquake. An appropriation of $25,000 for the replacement of the library was approved by the legislature in 1907 (Stats. 1907, ch. 138, p. 177). The 1907 statute stipulated that the library would also be used by the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco. The use of the library by both courts continued even after the library’s move to the State Building at 350 McAllister Street in San Francisco in 1923. In 1982, a law library was established for the use of the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District.

Damage caused to the Earl Warren State Building in San Francisco’s Civic Center Complex by another earthquake in 1989 forced the relocation of the Supreme Court and the library. In the aftermath of the Loma Prieta earthquake the library was moved to temporary quarters. It occupied space with the court in San Francisco’s Marathon Plaza at 303 Second Street until renovations to the court’s former home could be completed. Prior to their return to the Civic Center Complex the libraries of the First District Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court were merged. The combined library for the Supreme Court of California and the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District was officially created and named the California Judicial Center Library on April 1, 1997. On January 22, 1999, the California Judicial Center Library began moving into its current home 455 Golden Gate Avenue.



Frequently Asked Questions [+]



No, CJCL is not open to the public. However, researchers who wish access to the collections in Special Collections and Archives may request permission to visit by contacting Archives@jud.ca.gov.

CJCL staff size is limited. Generally, staff of the Research and Reference Services group refer members of the public to law libraries that are convenient for them to locate answers to their inquiries. Contact: reference@jud.ca.gov.

Staff of Special Collections/Archives assist potential researchers by providing brief responses to inquiries received by email, letter or phone as well as assisting researchers who visit CJCL by permission. Contact: Archives@jud.ca.gov.

The Library Catalog contains records of the holdings of seven libraries: the CJCL and the libraries of the Second, Third, Fourth Divisions One and Three, Fifth and Sixth Appellate Districts.

Justices and staff of the California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal, as well as staff of the Judicial Council of California, may borrow materials listed in the Library Catalog.

No, the Library Catalog does not contain circulation data.

Yes, The Library Catalog contains many links to full-text sources. Most full-text sources are acquired at no extra cost to the library, and many of them are acquired because CJCL is a depository for federal and state publications.

The California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal Database provides current and historical information about the courts. It contains three types of records for

  • Justices, including name, year of birth and death, court(s) and division(s) served, appointment date(s) and date(s) of last service.
  • Special Collections and Archives, including inventories and collection-level records for personal papers and other memorabilia of members of the California Supreme Court and other legal scholars, and the records of the California Supreme Court Historical Society.
  • Oral History Transcripts, including general contents notes, index terms, interview participants, interview date, and pagination.

Only persons who have authorized logins and passwords can search Lexis and Westlaw, with one exception: Published reports of decisions of the California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal are available via Lexis.

Yes, CJCL is a depository for federal and state publications. With minor exceptions, all federal and state publications in the library's collection are identified in the Library Catalog. CJCL is exempt from the requirement to provide public access under the law's general exemption for libraries serving a state's court of highest appellate jurisdiction (the California Supreme Court).



CJCL Staff


Research and Reference Services staff will, whenever feasible, direct other users to resources available to them in their geographic areas.



California Judicial Center Library Map


map

Collections

A - California Alcove-West
B - California Legislative History
C - Periodicals
D - Newspapers (non-current)
E - Treatises
F - U.S. Government Publications
G - California Government Publications
H - Reference Collection
I - Microforms
J - CA Digests/Encyclopedias
K - Digests/Encyclopedias
L - Regional Reporters
M - Federal Statutes/Regulations
N - Federal Cases
O - U.S. Supreme Court Cases
P - State Reports
Q - Foreign Law
R - California Alcove-East

Locations

1 - Special Collections & Archives-West
2 - North Stacks
3 - Newspaper Lounge
4 - Research & Reference Services
5 - Special Collections & Archives-East
exit - Exit    exit - Copier



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