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Law scholarship repository scores millionth download

  • One million and counting
    One million and counting  From left, Access/Technical Services Librarian Lauren Seney, Library Director Jim Heller, Head of Technical Services Linda Tesar, and Head of Access Services Jennifer Sekula celebrate the 1 millionth download from the scholarship repository.  Photo by Steve Blaiklock
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In July of 2010 the Wolf Law Library at William & Mary Law School created the William & Mary Law School Scholarship Repository to house the intellectual output of the Law School community. The repository is an online, open access archive that includes our faculty publications, five law reviews, and numerous other documents relating to the unique history of the nation's first law school.  On May 9 the Scholarship Repository broke 1 million downloads -- less than two years after the first item was loaded. 

Digital repositories are being created in law schools across the country. William & Mary, like Duke, Georgetown, and Yale, is one of nearly forty law schools that use the Digital Commons platform that supports the Repository.  The William & Mary Law School Scholarship Repository is one of the largest law school repositories, and to date has more downloads than any other law school using Digital Commons.

The initial collections in the Repository were strictly of a scholarly nature.  The first six months were spent identifying  W&M Law School faculty publications, and adding those and the complete archive of  the Law School's student-edited law reviews to the Repository.  These collections were loaded very quickly; under the oversight of librarian Lauren Seney who directed a small army of student assistants, almost 5,000 documents were added in the first six months of the repository's existence.  The faculty publications have since grown to include both current and former members. With these initial series reaching a maintenance level, the library is now adding collections such as the Law School student newspapers, the admissions brochure, annual reports, conference proceedings, newsletters, and commencement proceedings.  The repository currently contains more than 6,600 items across 23 collections, and it continues to grow as the library moves to add multimedia and more historical documents.

The history-making 1 millionth download was an article by University of Tennessee Law Professor Thomas E. Plank titled "The Essential Elements of Judicial Independence and the Experience of Pre-Soviet Russia," published in volume 5 of the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal.  While the majority of visitors are from North America, the repository is accessed across the globe, with the William and Mary Law Review being the most downloaded collection followed by our Faculty Publications and the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal.

The Wolf Law Library was the beneficiary of a major gift from Hank and Dixie Wolf. Hank Wolf, of Norfolk, is a 1964 graduate of the College of William & Mary and a 1966 graduate of the Law School. He is the former vice chairman and chief financial officer of Norfolk Southern Corporation. He was appointed to William & Mary's Board of Visitors in 2003 and reappointed in 2007.  He served as rector of the university from 2009 to 2011 and was honored with a 2012 Alumni Medallion. Dixie Wolf, a civic leader, also has served the university in numerous capacities.  Among her endeavors, she served on the Board of Directors of the Muscarelle Museum of Art from 2004 to 2010 and recently became a member of the William & Mary Foundation Board. William & Mary honored her as an Honorary Alumna in 2010.