International Association of Law Libraries Archive

IALL: International Association of Law Libraries Archives, 1964-2007

Reference code(s): GB 1697 A.IALL
Held at: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
Date(s): 1964 - 2007
Level of description: Collection (Fonds)
Extent: 100 files and folders; 74 items; 10 microfiche; 11 audio tapes, 1 electronic file
Name of creator(s): International Association of Law Libraries

IALL Archives handlist (PDF)


Administrative/Biographical history:
The International Association of Law Libraries was founded in 1959 with the purpose of promoting and supporting the work of Law Libraries and related agencies, in order to facilitate research and use of their materials on a multinational and co-operative basis. Its functions and activities have developed to include professional education and development, by means of annual courses, participation in major conferences including IFLA, the publication of the International Journal of Legal Information, and other scholarly publications. It also awards scholarship bursaries for and makes an annual award for the best legal website.

For a detailed description of the history of the IALL, see: Adolf Sprudzs: Thirty Five Years of International Co-operation (The Law Librarian Vol 26 no 2 June 1995.) A list of Presidents of the IALL may also be found on the Association's website:


Scope and content/abstract: Papers of the International Association of Law Libraries, consisting of: IALL constitutional documents (1994 - 2002); Annual General meetings; Annual reports and Accounts; Directors Files (1986 - 1996); Treasurers files (1979 - 1995); IALL Courses: proceedings and correspondence (1975 - 2005); IALL Messenger (1986 - 1988); IALL Newsletter (1976 - 1979); IALL Bulletin (1964 - 1971); IJLI (1992 - 1995); IALL Publications correspondence (19973 - 2001); Directories and lists of members (1986 - 87); IFLA Conference participation (1977 - 1990); Miscellaneous files (1998 - 2001).

The nature of IALL - an international organisation based on a three year term of office for its officials - means that there was no corporate record keeping system. Rather each member of the board, and indeed each active member of the organisation, would maintain their own files which often form a continuous record of their involvement with the Association, rather than according to the roles they undertook. The bulk of the archive, therefore, comprises such files. In addition, there are also publications, printed matter from training events and the brass logo stamp.

Record types noted within named individual's files include: constitutional documents; AGM papers; Board Meeting Minutes and related papers; financial records; training event preparation and administration; and general correspondence. As far as possible, specific record types within files have been noted in the file level description. However, researchers interested in a particular topic or period would be advised to look at all the relevant individuals' files.


Language/scripts of material: English, German and Swedish.
System of arrangement: Arranged by function and subject matter as given in Scope and Content. As noted above, the IALL did not have a central record keeping system and much of this archive comprises individual member's files. This arrangement has been retained and the files catalogued in series according to the individual rather than the role.
Conditions governing access: Printed and published material open. Remaining records open 20 years after last date on file unless otherwise specified (some records may be closed for reasons of confidentiality or to protect personal privacy; where this is the case the access conditions are specified in the individual series description).
Conditions governing reproduction: Copyright remains with IALL. Copyright declaration form to be completed. Digital photography declaration form to be completed.
Finding aids: Detailed catalogue available at the IALS and as PDF list for download


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: In 2006 the records were appraised and listed by the IALS Archivist; during this exercise ephemera and duplicate material were destroyed by agreement with the Librarian as current President of IALL. Additional material was received and appraised in 2007 - 2008. A Records Retention policy has been drafted for IALL.

Accruals: Other accruals are expected in order to fill gaps within the existing series and to continue the series.

Archival history: the records were transferred directly to IALS by officers of the IALL. The nature of the accruals to this collection indicates that the bulk of these records were retained by the member's employing institution before being passed directly to the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.
Immediate source of acquisition: IALL officers


Archivist's note: Compiled by Elizabeth Dawson and Melanie Peart.
Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.
Date(s) of descriptions: July 2006; October 2008.

Page last updated: 6th July 2020

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