Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

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Special Collections

Wisconsin Briefs

The library provides public access to the WI Supreme Court and Court of Appeals briefs and appendices for all cases ordered published or unpublished, starting with the first case heard in each court (1839 for the WI Supreme Court; 1978 for the WI Court of Appeals).

Wisconsin Judicial Council

The Judicial Council Collection is a source of legislative history of court-related statutes and rules.

Wisconsin Jury Instructions - Superseded

We keep current digital and print jury instructions and also provide outdated jury instructions. Here is our coverage of superseded jury instructions:

Children: 1996-current
Civil: 1960-1967, and replaced pages from 1981 to current versions
Criminal: 1962, and replaced pages from 1980 to current versions

West's Wisconsin Statutes Annotated - Superseded volumes and pocket parts

In addition to current sets of West's Wisconsin Statutes Annotated, and access via our public Westlaw, we also keep old volumes and pocket parts in our collection. These are shelved in our Compact Storage location in the David T. Prosser Jr. Library. To see what we keep, consult our finding aid for the current shelf list.

Depository Collection

Federal Depository Library Program

As a selective depository for federal government documents, the Library collects government documents that complement and supplement the library's other collections. In addition to legal materials, the library collects annual reports, laws, decisions, regulations, selected handbooks, manuals and general publications of various legislative, judicial and executive branch agencies. The library's catalog also provides access to many federal government depository publications that are now only available electronically. A basic collection of core documents is available online with several individual titles accessible through the library catalog.

Drug Court Collection

Designed for pro se litigants, attorneys, advocates, and court staff, the Dane County Law Library’s drug court collection contains both legal and medical books as well as resources on rehabilitation, drug court operation manuals, memoirs, judicial education materials, and medical dictionaries.  Some of these materials were donated by members of the community or have been provided through the WI State Law Library. Suggestions for new additions can be directed to Bob Lopez.

Prose & Cons

Looking for something a little lighter to read?  You can find mysteries and crime fiction at the Wisconsin State Law Library.  This donated legal fiction collection has books from such authors as David Baldacci, Patricia Cornwell, Dick Francis, and John Grisham.  If you’re in the mood for a movie, the Library also has a feature film collection containing legal classics and recent motion pictures.  Movies are located near the library’s reference area; the book collection is behind the Rare Book Room, on the second floor of the library.  To donate to the collection, drop your items off at the library or contact Amy Crowder.

Rare Book Collection

The Rare Book Collection contains more than 1,100 items spanning over four centuries and includes English, Irish, Scottish and American law and trials. All items in the collection are non-circulating; those in good condition may be used in the library. While the library is not actively acquiring rare materials at this time, donations continue to be considered for addition to the collection.

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