Public Library Web Resources for Research

The Law Library staff sometimes uses this newsletter to reveal our secrets. This issue provides knowledge of an essential tool that we use in answering your questions. You may choose to use this particular source directly.

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCH), second largest public library system in the country with more than nine million volumes in its collection, is a good place to begin almost any research project. PLCH also has an impressive array of electronic resources. It should not be surprising that some of the databases are useful to the legal researcher. These databases are free to anyone with a PLCH card via the Internet; they are also available in the Law Library’s computer room, utilizing the library’s corporate library card. The Law Library reference librarians are available to provide assistance, as is the PLCH staff.

Business Information

Business and Company Resource Center [Galegroup/InfoTrac]  brings together company profiles, company brand information, rankings, investment reports, company histories, chronologies, and periodicals in a single database. This database contains detailed company and industry news and information.

Reference Solutions (Formerly Reference USA)  is divided into residential and business databases, provides detailed information on nearly 12 million U.S. companies, organizations, and agencies, and 120 million U.S. households. The business database can be searched by company name, sales volume, SIC codes, number of employees, product lines, and more. The residential database can be searched by name, geographical area, or phone number.

Business NewsBank  focuses on company and business information. Utilizing a variety of resources, including newspapers, newswires and business journals, NewsBank provides full-text articles on companies, industries, executives and products.

General News

Electric Library consists of a full-text database of over 800 newspapers and magazines including USA Today, Consumers Digest, and Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The database also contains over 18 reference books such as Colliers Encyclopedia CD-ROM and the World Almanac and Book of Facts.

Reference, General & Specialized

OCLC FirstSearch provides library users with online access to a wide range of subject-specific databases. FirstSearch is flexible enough to satisfy the research needs of both beginning and expert users.

FirstSearch is an effective and reliable search interface. The advanced search functions are particularly useful in searching complex issues or specific information. FirstSearch allows a user to search a wide array of databases, including:

  • WorldCat: is a database offering the catalogs of all the major libraries in the world. Although contents of books or articles from periodicals cannot be searched, one can easily ascertain library holdings which can help to expedite Inter- Library Loan processing. WorldCat is also useful if one has partial information on a particular title. For example, if just the title or author is known, WorldCat will use that information to locate the complete record. The user should be advised that there are possibly more than one record for identical titles; as a result, the user must review each record’s holdings in order to get a complete picture of which institutions possess the item.
  • ArticleFirst: offers more than 12.7 million records, beginning from 1990, covering the subjects of business, humanities, medicine, popular culture, science, social science, and technology. This broad-based database is a great source for articles, especially because some of them are available in full-text and can be printed from the browser.
  • LegalPeriodical: this is Index to Legal Periodicals on the web. This database is very similar to the database the Law Library provides its members via InfoTrac, (LegalTrac). The two databases are comparable but not equivalent. There are advantages to LegalPeriodical, including the link to OCLC WorldCat which will identify those libraries that have the particular periodical. For specific holdings and access policies, one would still consult the library.
  • MEDLINE: this database combines the print indexes Index Medicus, Index to Dental Literature, and International Nursing Index to provide the most comprehensive access to technical medical literature. Produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this database provides access to article abstracts in approximately 9,580 titles covering the broad spectrum of medical and dental subjects starting in the year 1965.
Had you noticed...? In order to inform you of the Cincinnati Law Library’s holdings, this column will feature brief reviews of new, important or under-utilized publications.

Ohio Compliance Supplement CD-ROM, Auditor of the State of Ohio -- This work contains significant and new legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the commentary of auditors and their clients. It is designed to make known laws and regulations of considerable public interest and to help auditors and other public officials identify and familiarize themselves with laws and regulations generally applicable to a variety of local governments and state agencies.

Directory of Expert Witnesses & Consultants ( -- Part of the National Law Journal's Litigation Services Network, the NLJ Directory of Expert Witnesses & Consultants consists of searchable databases containing more than 15,000 expert witnesses, who are divided into 2,000 categories. Such categories include area of expertise, geographic location, and name. Biographies of expert witnesses are both full-text and searchable.

Ohio Family Law: Case Finder Index, 1991-2000, Anderson Publishing Co. -- This title contains an index of Ohio cases pertaining to family law that were reported in Ohio Official Reports from 1 July 1991 through 31 December 2000. The cases referenced may be found in Ohio St. 3d, Ohio App.3d, and Ohio Misc. 2d. Not only does this publication provide brief comments on the content of cases, but it also features user-friendly topical organization.

California Civil Practice Bancroft-Whitney -- This 37 volume set is the authoritative guide to litigation practice in California. It is authored by more than thirty leading California judges and legal practitioners, and it provides expert analysis of relevant statutes, rules, regulations, and reported decisions. Organized by practice area, it includes coverage of litigation in business, employment, environment, real property, and probate and trust, as well as procedure, torts, and workers’ compensation. The forms available in print and on disk are supplemented with practice notes, checklists, cautions, and extensive bibliographies.

Evidentiary Foundations, 5th ed. Edward Imwinkelried, LexisNexis -- The revised Fifth Edition discusses the most recent developments in evidence law. Its organization was recently restructured to be easier to understand, but retains the scope and theme of Professor Imwinkelried’s earlier work. This popular book covers all major evidentiary doctrines and provides a brief description of the pertinent Federal Rules of Evidence and the most recent leading cases construing the Rules. The foundational elements, the events and facts you need to assure that the evidence will be admitted or to avoid its admittance, are listed. There are illustrative foundation examples showing how each question relates to a particular element of the evidentiary foundation.

Totidem Verbis ?

As long ago as 1908 when I wrote Harriman v. ICC, it seemed to me that we so long had enjoyed the advantages protected by the bills of rights that we had forgotten – it used sometimes to seem to me that the New Republic had forgotten – that they had had to be fought for and could not be kept unless we are willing to fight for them.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Holmes-Laski Letters, Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press, 1953, p. 203