Thursday, July 10, 2008

A call to digitize all statutes

Yesterday, a law student came to the Reference Desk and wanted to know how to note up a section in the criminal code from the 1970's. I told her she would have to use the print sources once she went back prior to the R.S.C.'s 1985. She had never done it before and did not know what to do. I spent about an hour or so explaining it and going over it with her, especially how to use the print sources. Fortunately we weren't too busy at the desk, and she was finally able to understand it.

This brings me to my point. If Library and Archives Canada can digitize all of the issues of the Canada Gazette, would they not at some point do the same for all of the statutes. When I mean all of the statues, I mean digitize all of the statues, not just those in the present, but also in the past, all the way back to the very beginning of Canada in 1867. I'm not suggesting that digging for the history of the statutes would be that much easier on a computer (the process can still be a pain), but at least the students could do it on a medium they are familiar with, at any time of day.

Just a thought.

No comments: