Information Connection, 1017 WYBJ, Vol. 40 No. 5. 50

Author:Matt Swift State Law Librarian Wyoming State Law Library
 
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Information Connection

Vol. 40 No. 5 Pg. 50

Wyoming Bar Journal

October, 2017

HeinOnline: The "Other" Legal Database

Matt Swift State Law Librarian Wyoming State Law Library

What is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline (HOL) is the third largest legal subscription database after Westlaw and Lexis Nexis. While Westlaw and Lexis Nexis are the two most popular legal databases, HOL includes worthwhile features and content for legal research.

At its inception, HeinOnline was envisioned as a source for older volumes of law reviews. Indeed, initially, it was colloquially called the "old law journal project."The plan was to go from volume one up to the 1980s, i.e., the years when Lexis and West-law began coverage of most journals. This decision was based on the assumption that law libraries likely did not want to pay for duplicate coverage of the same content.[1]

HOL has grown considerably since it was launched in 2000. HOLs large law journal collection contains more than 2,300 law journals on a variety of subjects, including animal rights, human rights, political science, history, gender studies, elections law, civil rights, and foreign relations. All its journals date back to inception and more than 90% are available through the current issue or volume.[2] HOL now contains more than 150 million pages and 160,000 titles of legal history and government documents.[3] HOL has added the Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Code, a U.S. Federal Legislative History Library, U.S. Statutes at Large, and U.S. Reports dating back to 1754.There is also a historic state statutes archive and a state session laws library. HOL has always been popular at academic law libraries, but in recent years law firms have started using it more, "...as law firms reduced office space dedicated to print collections, the ever-increasing breadth of HeinOnline's historical and now more current, publications has made it a pragmatic and sound business investment."[4]

How is HOL Different From Westlaw or Lexis?

HOL is unique in that all the materials in its collection are scans of the original documents. For this reason, the documents look exactly as they did when they were originally...

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