Founded in 1868 by a legislative act "to provide a law library to the Supreme Court," the California Judicial Center Library (CJCL) holds more than 200,000 volumes of federal and California legal resources, and handles more than 800 in-depth requests a year from justices, attorneys, and judicial assistants.
In addition to the California Supreme Court, the CJCL now serves the First District Court of Appeal, and the Judicial Council.
The CJCL celebrated its 150th anniversary on December 18 with an open house ceremony at the library's location in the Ronald George State Building in San Francisco. Over the years, library staff has digitized some of the collections and removed multiple copies of materials, creating more space for study areas.
Staff from the Supreme Court and Judicial Council, as well as archivists who have helped maintain the collection for decades, attended the anniversary event.
Library director, Donna Williams, left, addresses staff and visitors. California Supreme Court Clerk Jorge Navarrete is on the right.
Aside from print and digital reference materials, many visitors come to tour the library for its collection of significant historical items.
The library houses the works of Bernard E. Witkin, as well as the work desk and typewriter used by the legal scholar.
We want to bring the library into the 21st century because it's a place of service, and not just a storage facility.
—Donna Williams, Director of the California Judicial Center Library