Law Student Services: Alternative Document Sources

Journal Articles * Statutes * Newspapers * Videos * PDF format * Online Boston Library Consortium Borrowing * Consortium Card * NELLCO libraries

Law Journals/Reviews: BU eJournals has links to HeinOnline and other trusted electronic sources. Journal articles available in PDF format through BU will not be requested on ILL. Please see a reference librarian if you have questions about the reliability of any item available via the BU eJournals list.


The library collects statutes in force from states other than Massachusetts in the form of annotated (unofficial) codes.  Annotated codes are preferable for research because they have better indexing and are more current. Citations to the current official code are also easily converted to the current unofficial code, which allows for easy retrieval of the cited statute. 

In addition, Bluebook rules explicitly permit citation to the annotated codes.  Rule 12.1 states "Statutes may be cited to a current official or unofficial code". Rule 12.2.1(a) and rule 12.3 echo this by stating, respectively "If possible, cite statutes currently in force to the current official code or its supplement..." and "Cite the official code whenever possible."  [emphasis added]. 

Because citation to these unofficial codes is permissible and because of the limited availability of official codes, our Interlibrary Loan policy is to only request statutes when the volume is unavailable at Pappas or does not have the cited statute.


When requesting a newspaper we must provide a full reference to the lending library, including the full title of the newspaper, town/location, article title, article author (if available), date, and page number. Reference librarians can assist you in finding this information.

The university libraries subscribe to a number of digital newspapers. Please check the BU Journals list for coverage dates.

Please note: newspaper articles are difficult to obtain via ILL. Many libraries are relying on electronic formats and not collecting newspapers in print or microformat. Remember that Lexis and Westlaw have extensive collections of newspapers.


Krasker Film/Video Services provides instructional support to Boston University faculty, staff, and current students. Films and videos owned by Boston University are listed in the Krasker Catalog.

The Geddes Language Center is dedicated to providing an extensive media resource for the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and the Boston University community. 

PDF format on the web

No requests will be placed for items available in PDF format from a reliable source. Some reliable sources for PDF documents include Thomas and GPO Access for U.S. government publications, and other government websites. A reference librarian can help you determine the reliability of any PDF document and/or site.

Not enough time for ILL

We try to fill your requests in a timely manner, but requests for books may take 7 or more days to be filled.

Please note that photocopy requests with less than 2 days lead time are entirely at the discretion of the lending library. Most lending libraries will deliver articles shorter than 25 pages electronically.

Online Boston Library Consortium Borrowing

Boston University students, faculty, and staff may use WorldCat Local to simultaneously search the catalogs of Boston University and member libraries of the Boston Library Consortium, view combined search results from these catalogs, and place requests for books. Filled requests are held at the Pappas Circulation Desk.

Please note: items borrowed through WorldCat Local may be renewed only once. Fines are assessed for late returns of these materials.

BLC (Boston Library Consortium)

Visit and borrow materials on site from BLC member libraries using a consortium card. Materials borrowed with a consortium card are eligible for renewals. Fines may be assessed for late returns by the lending institutions. Consortium cards are issued through Mugar Library.

NELLCO (New England Law Library Consortium)

Visit and use materials on site at NELLCO member libraries. Current BU School of Law students may visit these LAW libraries using their BU ID.

updated: August 2013