Roy Mersky – in Memoriam

Roy Mersky may not have been the first person to ride a horse through a major law library but he was likely the smartest, shortest and most published ((His bibliography is awesome in its length)).

Roy Mersky

Roy had been on faculty at the University of Texas law school since 1965, building the Tarlton Law Library and Jamail Center for Legal Research to their current reputation. He was also a professor in the University’s graduate School of Information where he built the legal information/law librarianship program. He also served as the interim director of the Jewish National and University Library of Hebrew University. He co-wrote the classic Fundamentals of Legal Research, now in its 8th edition, and a comprehensive look at all the justices on the USSC, The First 108 Justices. He is justly described as the most distinguished American law librarian.


Almost a quarter of a century ago, he ran an Affordable Automation for the Smaller Law Firms
Conference, for the ABA and the Texas Bar. His contributions to the application of technology to law, and the professionalization of law librarianship would fill a monograph let alone a blog. He served with me on the ABA’s Law Practice Magazine Editorial Board, where his panoptic knowledge of legal literature was both wonderful and intimidating.

For a brief introduction to this wonderful and charming man, have a look at his Future of Law Libraries interview

Roy died on Tuesday in Austin. He will be missed


  1. I’m sorry I never met him–he sounds like a character. Thank you for sharing, Simon.