Hall of Fame Law Librarians

I love a good sports analogy, so I was thrilled to see Frank Houdek’s article in the July 2010 issue of the AALL Spectrum, “Introducing the AALL Hall of Fame.” Ooh, I thought, what would be the law librarian equivalent of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s 300 wins, 500 home runs, 3,000 hits, and similar measurable longevity and career athletic achievement stats? And did any of my foreign, comparative, and international law (FCIL) librarian colleagues make the AALL Hall of Fame?

For the AALL Hall of Fame, “a nominee…must be or have been a member in good standing of AALL for 25 years or more, must have provided years of distinguished service to the Association over a substantial portion of his or her period of membership, and must have made significant contributions to the profession.” One can objectively measure longevity, but the other criteria are not so easily quantified.

However, the 2010 inaugural class of inductees gives us examples of the levels of career achievement to which future nominees should aspire. The AALL Hall of Fame automatically includes all winners of the Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award. AALL established the following criteria for giving the Gallagher Award:

The Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award is presented to an individual who has completed or is nearing completion of an active professional career. The Award is given in recognition of a career of outstanding, extended and sustained service to law librarianship and to AALL. Honorees may be recognized for exceptional achievement in a particular area of law librarianship, for service to the Association that goes well beyond expectation, or for outstanding contributions to the professional literature. Nominees must be or at one time have been a member of the American Association of Law Libraries. The award may be given posthumously.

The 2010 AALL Hall of Fame inductees also include “other deserving deceased members or members who have been retired/removed from an active career for at least 10 to 15 years…[and] ”Pioneers”…because of the critical roles they played in the formation and early development of AALL.”

Several people who have made major contributions to the field of FCIL librarianship joined the inaugural class of 78 AALL Hall of Famers. They are:

  • Sidney Hill, chair of the special committee to establish an index to foreign legal periodicals
  • Blanka Kudej, 1993 Gallagher Award winner; key figure in the formation of the AALL FCIL Special Interest Section; author (with Simone-Marie Kleckner) of International Legal Bibliography; biography)
  • Thomas H. Reynolds, 2004 Gallagher Award winner; former editor of the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals, and co-editor (with Arturo Flores) of the indispensable Foreign Law Guide; regular IALL meeting attendee
  • William Roalfe, founding president of the International Association of Law Libraries (IALL)
  • Fred B. Rothman, original publisher of Reynolds & Flores’ Foreign Law: Basic Sources of Law and Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World looseleaf service
  • Adolf Sprudzs 2000 Gallagher Award winner; two-term IALL president; treaty law research specialist; co-editor (with Igor Kavass) of Current Treaty Index, A Guide to United States Treaties in Force, UST Cumulative Index, Extradition Laws and Treaties of the United States; author of several books of legal abbreviations; biography; memorial; pictured above
  • William Stern, former IALL president; instrumental in the creation of the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals
  • Diana Vincent-Daviss (1994 Gallagher Award winner; inspiration behind the University of Toronto’s Women’s Human Rights Resources Database, University of Minnesota Human Rights Library , and Yale’s Project Diana: Human Rights Cases)

Looking at this list, I started thinking of what librarians could be in an international law librarians’ Hall of Fame. Such a Hall of Fame would provide worldwide recognition of FCIL librarian contributions to the profession. Some of the following criteria could be considered:

  • Has the candidate received award(s) for distinguished or outstanding service from his or her national law library association (similar to baseball MVP awards)?
  • Has the candidate received recognition of important contributions in and out of the field of FCIL librarianship?
  • Has the candidate received recognition outside the country or international institution in which he or she works as an FCIL librarian or legal information professional?
  • Have others written Festschriften or other memorials in honor of the candidate?
  • Did the candidate edit or found major FCIL print or electronic publications?
  • Has the candidate made significant contributions to FCIL literature?
  • How many citations to the candidate’s work appear in scholarly literature?
  • Did the candidate help create or take on leadership roles in major FCIL library organizations such as ALLA, CALL, IALL, NZALLA, OSALL, etc.?
  • Did the candidate mentor of other FCIL librarians?
  • Did the candidate readily share information and generously help other FCIL librarians?
  • Did the candidate recruit others and show initiative in promoting FCIL librarianship?
  • Did the candidate build an excellent FCIL collection? The extent of interlibrary loans from a collection might provide one measure of its excellence.

Potential nominees for an International Law Librarians Hall of Fame include in alphabetical order:

  • Claire M. Germain, teacher of French law and legal bibliography; author of Germain’s Transnational Law Research; creator of French Law in Action (240+ video clips of interviews with French judges, lawyers, and professors); recipient of the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur medal, France’s highest honor, for her efforts in bridging the American and French legal cultures; biography
  • Jolande E. Goldberg, author of the Library of Congress foreign and international law classification schemes; recipient of the AALL Joseph L. Andrews Bibliographical Award; TS-SIS Long-Time Member Profile
  • Igor I. Kavass, co-editor (with Adolf Sprudzs) of several U.S. treaty indexes; of KAV number fame (KAV Agreements); former editor of the International Journal of Legal Information (IJLI); co-editor (with Michael Blake) of United States Legislation on Foreign Relations and International Commerce which received the American Society of International Law Certificate of Merit; author of Soviet Law in English Research Guide and Bibliography, 1970-1987  for which he received the Joseph L. Andrews Bibliographical Award.
  • Prof. Dr. Holger Knudsen, former IALL President; chair IFLA Law Libraries Section; biography; video of him talking about the Library of the Max Planck
    Institute for Private Law in Hamburg, Germany
  • Denis LeMay, 2003 recipient of the CALL/ACBD Denis Marshall Award for Excellence in Law Librarianship; author of La recherche documentaire en droit
  • Dr. Rubens Medina, spearheaded the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) initiative
  • Dietrich Pannier, subject of Festschrift für Dietrich Pannier zum 65 geburtstag am 24.Juni.2010 (Detlev Fischer and Marcus Obert eds.);co-author (with Helmut Dau) of Bibliographie juristischer Festschriften und Festschriftenbeiträge; videos of him giving a tour of the Library of the
    Bundesgerichtshof / Federal Court of Justice: outside, part 1, part 2, part 3.
  • Ellen Schaffer, co-editor (with Randall Snyder) of Contemporary Practice in International Law; established the FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians to support attendance at the AALL annual meeting
  • Dan Wade (oral history; first recipient and honoree of the Daniel L. Wade FCIL SIS Outstanding Service Award)
  • Jules Winterton, two-term IALL president; editor of Information Sources in Law

Perhaps we could consider publishers such as William S. Hein, LLMC, and Oceana too. And libraries such as the Peace Palace Library and the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library.

Who do you think should be in an International Law Librarians Hall of Fame?


  1. I certainly hope that this Hall of Fame doesn’t have to deal with the ramifications of inflated statistics due to a controversial illicit drugs era