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Foreign, Comparative & International Law

Government Descriptions

Background, Foreign Government Descriptions, and Relationships with the U.S.



Browsing Foreign Law Titles

Browsing Foreign Law Titles in the Online Catalog

Researching foreign law can be tricky.

  • Using Library of Congress (LoC) Classes can help. 
  • Try using location call numbers, rather than subject classifications to search.
  • Books have a single location class, but fall into many subject classes.   
  • Here is a tool to locate foreign law items by their LoC "K" subclasses.


Searching by call no.

Additional Search Tips:

  • We have a small foreign law collection.  So, search all of MERLIN (all University of Missouri Campuses).
  • Many nations and regions may have few or even no titles.
  • The Library of Congress groups nations into regions.  Groupings may change after political reorganizations.
  • What to do if you see? "No matches found; nearby LC Call Numbers are: [followed by a list of call numbers]." 
  • Keep Scrolling.
    • For example, the range for Japan is KNX1-KNX4999, and the search tool below will search KNX1, resulting in "No matches found." However, if you scroll down the entries to "Your entry KNX1 would be here," you will see that the first entry for Japan among the MERLIN libraries begins with "KNX42."

screen shot of MERLIN catalog search


  • Still not finding much? Expand your search to MOBIUS (70 university libraries).
  •  Run a browse search in WorldCat's free catalog (with over 10,000 libraries).  

Doing Subject Searches

Subject Searches of Foreign Law in the Online Catalog

Also search by using traditional subject headings.  Like  "Law -- Germany."

Merlin Subject Search

And the results . . . .

Catalog search for "Law - Germany" produces many subtopics, but not "Domestic Relations - Germany."


Note:  many foreign legal subjects are classified in hard to predict ways, such as "Domestic Relations - Germany," which doesn't appear in the list above, but which is a real subject class.  However, if we are good at guessing and try "Domestic Relations-Germany" at UMKC-Law library, we find:

Search for "Domestic Relations - Germany"

Why you need to use interlibrary loan

Why You Need to Use Interlibrary Loan

Chart showing location of foreign law titles (mostly at other schools)

 Within MOBIUS, Washington University has far more foreign law than UMKC.  Consequently, you will need ILL for your research.  

Guides and Sources for Specific Nations

Guides and Sources for Specific Nations

Subscription Databases

Subscription Databases

Quick Searches

Google Customized FCIL Search