In these early years, development of the law library’s collection and staff was slow. The Law School did not appoint the first law librarian, John Whitman, until 1925. His selection coincided with the Law School’s accreditation by the Association of American Law Schools. By 1930, after more than 60 years of existence, the library had only grown to 10,000 volumes. This modest collection did not require a large staff. In fact, in 1942, a single librarian, Lora Lashbrook, oversaw the entire operation – while serving concurrently as teacher of research methodology, Law School registrar, and secretary to both the dean and the faculty. Marie Lawrence succeeded to the post of librarian in 1945. She guided the collection for almost 25 years. At her retirement, the library stood at 69,000 volumes – still quite small by American Bar Association standards.
The enlargement of the library’s physical space in 1973 came under the leadership of the next librarian, Kathleen C. Farmann. Expansion was made possible in part by a gift from the Kresge Foundation for whom the library is named. In 1985, the University committed itself to building a library that would support scholarship of the highest order, and it needed a librarian to spearhead that campaign. Roger F. Jacobs, then the Librarian of the U.S. Supreme Court, became the fifth Notre Dame law librarian. During his 21 years of leadership, library staff, seating, and shelf space more than doubled. The total physical area of the library increased by a third, and the collection grew to more than 640,000 volumes.
Ed Edmonds was appointed the sixth librarian in summer 2006. Ed oversaw the library renovation of 2010, first planned by Roger Jacobs, and he spearheaded the move from print to electronic resources. During Ed's tenure the library created the NDLScholarship institutional repository with over 1.5 million downloads of faculty publications.
The progress of the past continues into the future under Thomas Mills, who was appointed the seventh librarian in summer 2017. He is proud to welcome you to Kresge Law Library in Biolchini Hall of Law. Here a talented staff, quality collection, and superb physical facility combine to make the law library one of the Law School's finest assets.