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Law Resources: The Basics: Reference Collection

What is it?

"A library's Reference Collection is used to gather together in one convenient location standard references like encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries that will provide answers to questions on any topic in any field of research."

"It is called a Reference Collection because its use is limited to in‐library reference and because it is used heavily by the library's Reference Department to answer library patrons' questions quickly. Ideally, a library's Reference Collection should provide resources that will quickly answer any question posed by a library patron or that will at least direct the patron to a source that will answer the question.
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References
University of North Florida Digital Commons

Where is it?

The Reference Collection is split between two areas on the library's Main floor. Rows 21 - 23 contain Reference Section and Row 35 is the Quick Reference Section.    

Important Reference Books

How to use it

The Canadian Abridgements (blue and tan books) Row 23

  • start with the case name (differs from Halsbury’s and the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest
  • cases are digested and similar or like cases are brought together

The Canadian Abridgements Consolidated Table of Cases (red and tan books) Row 23

  • locate cases by name: tells you the volume and page number of every law report in which the case appears, and directs you to that case in The Canadian Abridgment Case Digests 
  • good if you know the name of the case, and helps you find parallel citations for that case

Halsbury’s Laws of Canada (black and red books) Row 21

  • information is arranged like an encyclopedia: organized by subject with entries that summarize a point of law and also provide key cases or statutes
  • good starting point for legal research - start with an area of law

Canadian Encyclopedic Digest (black binders) Row 35

  • information is arranged like an encyclopedia: organized by subject with entries that summarize a point of law and also provide key cases or statutes
  • good starting point for legal research - start with an area of law

Canadian Case Citations (brown books) Row 23

  • these are used to update or note-up cases - history and application    
    • "Noting up" means verifying whether a particular case is still relevant and that it has not been reversed on appeal, or has been criticized or overruled by subsequent cases
  • this is an important step to know how other cases treated or viewed the case at hand and to ensure that your case has not been overruled by a court of appeal or the Supreme Court of Canada, particularly if it is a recent case
  • refers you to other cases that have considered the case

Canadian Statutes Citations (blue and grey books) Row 23

  • used to update or note up a statute by jurisdiction – find cases that deal with a particular statute