Two of the world’s most comprehensive international law libraries, the Law Library of Congress and the Peace Palace Library in the Hague, have agreed to form an information-sharing relationship to exchange information and better serve library users.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed today in a ceremony at the Library of Congress by Law Librarian of Congress Jane Sánchez and Librarian of the Peace Palace Library Jeroen Vervliet. The agreement provides valuable insight into services, collections and cataloging at two leading law libraries.

“The Peace Palace Library is one of the world’s preeminent international law libraries, serving the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague Academy of International Law and other tribunals in The Hague,” Sánchez said.

“It plays a central role in the network of international institutions in the Hague and in the international law community worldwide.” Sánchez continued. “Its collection includes more than 1 million volumes on public and private international law, foreign law, international relations and diplomacy. Learning more about the Peace Palace Library and how it develops and catalogs its collection will provide valuable insights.”

The Law Library of Congress will benefit from this collaboration in fulfilling its primary mission: providing foreign, comparative, international and U.S. law research and reference services to Congress, the federal courts, federal agencies and legal researchers, Sanchez said.

“The Law Library of Congress is a truly global legal research institution,” said Vervliet. “Drawing on a legal collection covering every jurisdiction of the world, it performs comprehensive foreign, comparative, international and U.S. legal research for members of Congress and their staff, and also serves the federal judiciary and federal agencies.

“Learning more about how the Law Library of Congress supports the work of its governmental patrons and its other users, and about its unparalleled collection and how it is cataloged, will provide insights that can aid the Peace Palace Library,” Vervliet continued. “The library serves institutions in the Peace Palace and the Hague, scholars and students of international law, and plays a leading role in international legal research and international law librarianship.”

Sharing information

Under the MOU, the Law Library of Congress and the Peace Palace Library will share information regarding their research and reference services. This can include research methods and techniques and how they are applied in responses for the various types of users each institution serves.

Both libraries will also share information on the preparation of written reports and other research products and how they deliver research and reference services to their respective patrons.

Under the MOU, the parties may also share information about collection development. This can include information on collection development policies that are oriented toward particular user groups and how library staff create and employ the policies and keep them up to date.

The MOU also provides that the Law Library of Congress and the Peace Palace Library can share information about cataloging, such as the system of classification and the subject headings that each has developed.

About the Peace Palace Library

The Peace Palace Library, part of the Carnegie Foundation Peace Palace, is one of the oldest and most prestigious libraries specialized in international law. Based in the Hague, the library plays an essential role in the functioning of international law and is recognized within the community for its excellent legal information services.

The library’s extensive collection covers international public and private law, foreign and comparative law, and war and peace issues. Its principal objective is to serve the institutions that reside in the Peace Palace, but the library is equally open to the other international legal institutions in the Hague, as well as to all scholars and students of international law.

About the Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on-site and online. Established by an act of Congress in 1832, the law library serves members of Congress, the Supreme Court, other branches of the US government and the global legal community.

The law library maintains and preserves a universal collection of law for future generations. With more than 2.9 million volumes, and just under 3 million micro-format items, the law library contains the world’s largest collection of law books and other resources worldwide.