Osgoode Library Collection Development Policy

library resources


With more than 500,000 volumes, the Osgoode Hall Law School Library is one the most prestigious law libraries in Canada. The library boasts of a comprehensive research collection of Canadian and Common Law (English, American and Commonwealth) law materials, comprising both primary (judicial, statutory, legislative and regulatory) and secondary (scholarly texts) resources. The Library’s John R. Cartwright Rare Book Room contains a significant collection of early English and American law books and the largest collection of historical (pre-1920) Canadian legal texts and primary sources anywhere. These outstanding print collections of international calibre are supplemented by an ever-growing range of online and digital resources to which all members of the Osgoode community have access. There are many country and topic-specific resources which provide researchers with in-depth access to the primary legal materials not only of Canada but of the United States, Great Britain, Australia and other Commonwealth jurisdictions (including the Caribbean), the United Nations and other international tribunals and organizations.

The primary mission of the Osgoode Hall Law School Library is to support the intensive research and innovative teaching of Osgoode Hall Law School by collecting, organizing, preserving and disseminating legal and law-related information in any form. A secondary but equally important function is to support legal research scholarship by members of the York University community, members of the legal profession in the Greater Toronto region, and legal scholars across Canada. The following policies are intended to provide direction for the development of the library’s collections to support the library’s mission. They reflect not only the School’s curricular and scholarly priorities but are also a response to the realities of continuing economic and infrastructure constraints, the challenges of developing information technologies, the vagaries of user preference, the obligations of being Canada’s premier legal research facility and our responsibilities as stewards of Canada’s largest collection of law books.

The library provides access to materials by purchase of print resources, by purchase or licensing of electronic resources, by reciprocal borrowing and lending arrangements such as interlibrary loan, and by collaboration with York University Libraries and other law libraries in Toronto and throughout Canada.

Please note that the following collection development policy is not comprehensive. There is a separate collection development policy for Special Collections and Rare Books Collection. This Collection Development Policy is reviewed and approved every five years by the Library Committee and Osgoode Faculty Council.

Table of Contents

  1. Monographic Texts in Print
  2. Supplemented Texts (Looseleafs, Pocket Parts, Continuations)
  3. Annual Editions
  4. Ebooks (Digital Texts)
  5. Journals and Law Reviews
  6. Judicial Decisions (Law Reports)
  7. Tribunal Decisions (Administrative and Regulatory Agencies)
  8. Statutes; Legislative and Parliamentary Materials; Regulatory Materials
  9. Legal Reference Materials (Legal Encyclopedias, Citators, Indexes)
  10. Government Documents and Public Policy Publications
  11. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Materials (Including CPD Materials)
  12. Non-standard (Non-print, Non-digital) Formats
  13. Audio-Visual Materials

Last Updated: December, 2023