Regular readers will be aware that, for the past two and a half years, LLMC has been putting heightened energy into creating an especially rich Haiti Legal Patrimony Collection. This contribution to the Haiti earthquake recovery effort will always be a work in progress. We anticipate that we will be add-ing the odd item far into the future. However, we are happy to announce that the initial phase is starting to wind up, and that the results are most heartening.


To briefly review our course to date: When the great earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, many of us gave donations on a personal basis. But, some folks asked if there wasn’t something that LLMC could do as an organization? Well, one thing that we know how to do well is to build libraries. So helping to rebuild Haiti’s law libraries in a contemporary format was a do-able and useful proposition. It would help free up funds in Haiti for other pressing purposes, while providing the country with something of enduring value.


To get things rolling LLMC approached Kent McKeever at Columbia Law Library and Roberta Shaffer, then Law Librarian of Congress. We asked if they would be willing to have their combined holdings serve as the foundation for an effort to build a “super-collection.” Fortunately both libraries were more than willing to help launch the project. The goal we established was to create as rich a collection of Haitian law and governance-related public domain titles as had ever been assembled, and to make that collection freely available both to the citizens of Haiti and to the world generally.


We can now announce that our fundamental goal has been substantially accomplished. Starting with the rich holdings of our two “anchor” libraries, we were able to assemble a “base collection” of 346 titles. We then publicized that “base collection” to the wider library world, asking other libraries to survey their holdings and make available for scan-ning purposes any of their titles that proved to be unique. Rather astoundingly, the digital Haiti Legal Patrimony Collection has now grown to 1,030 scanned titles, with another 131 titles identified and still coming in. We expect that the final tally will be just over 1,175 titles. This tells us a lot about the goodness of our colleagues. It also provides an object lesson illustrating the truism that “no library has everything.”


Most of the scanned titles described above have already been cataloged, and are now available on LLMC-Digital. In addition, and to ensure that the materials are made freely available to the people of Haiti and their neighbors, all of these titles are being made freely available to the world through the Florida-based Digital Library of the Carib-bean.


To be sure, there is one very important title for which the scanning has lagged badly. This is Le Moniteur, the official Haiti gazette. LLMC has had great difficulty in assembling a scannable copy of this vital resource. Until recently the best we were able to do was assemble about a third of the 20th century portion of the run by combining scattered pieces loaned by the law libraries of the Library of Congress, Tulane, Michigan and Columbia.


We are now delighted to be able to announce a major breakthrough with regard to the gazette project. We learned only this week that we have been awarded access to an unbroken run of Le Moniteur from 1900 through 1999. This set has been housed to date at the United States Embassy in Port-au-Prince. This will completely fill out our 20th Century run of this title. The gap materials needed to complete our run will be arriving from Haiti over the next month or so. This allows us to predict with confidence that our 20th Century run of this title will be complete early in the new year.