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July 31, 2008

Former Harvard Law School Library Director Terry Martin joins Tarlton Law Library as Interim Director

Photo of Terry Martin
Terry Martin

Harry S. (Terry) Martin III joins the Tarlton Law Library and Jamail Center for Legal Research at The University of Texas School of Law on Friday, August 1, 2008, as interim director and visiting professor of law. The Tarlton Law Library is recognized as one of the most distinguished law libraries in the nation.

Professor Martin, who started his library career at the UT Law School, has spent the last 27 years as director of the Harvard Law School Library.

In September 2007, Martin announced plans to retire at the end of the academic year and travel for a year before joining the ranks of Harvard Law’s emeriti. His plans changed, however, when he was offered the position at UT Law following the death of Roy M. Mersky, the longtime director of the Tarlton Law Library and Jamail Center, last May.

“As one of the most dynamic and productive leaders of the law library profession, Roy Mersky leaves large boots to fill. I will do my best to keep the traditions of service and access to information that he cultivated as exemplary as he would have wished,” said Martin.

“Terry is an enormously well-regarded figure in the law school library world, worked in our library for a number of years in the 1970s, and is personally known by a number of the faculty. Terry is wonderfully well qualified to head the library, and we are very lucky to have him,” said UT Law Dean Larry Sager when announcing that Martin had accepted the offer to join the library for a year.

Martin’s research interests include the international trade in cultural property and digital forms of scholarly communication. He is also professionally concerned with the future of legal information resources and their accessibility, particularly free access to legislation, court decisions, and other official law texts.

Martin has published articles on the electronic library and information networks, on the law of interstate compacts, on methods of legal research, and on collection development policy for law libraries. He served as project director of the Annual Review of Population Law, which, with funding provided by the United Nations Population Fund, for twenty years summarized legal developments relating to family planning, maternal and child health, status of women, population mobility, and related issues. He developed the first course in Advanced Legal Research at Harvard and co-taught a course on artificial intelligence and law. For the past ten years, he has taught a seminar on visual arts and the law. He currently chairs the advisory board of the China–United States Conference on Legal Information and Law Libraries to be held in Beijing in May 2009.

Martin graduated from Harvard College in 1965 with an A.B. in history and received a J.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1968. He is a member of the Minnesota bar. After five years on the staff of The University of Texas Tarlton Law Library, he joined the faculty of the Georgetown University Law Center in 1976 as assistant professor of law and director of the Law Library.

In 1981, Martin joined Harvard, where he chaired the university library’s committee to oversee the operation and development of the Harvard On-Line Library Information System, supervised a $35 million renovation of Langdell Hall, and leaves collections of over two million volumes in varying formats.

In 1991, he spent a six-month sabbatical leave at the Max-Planck-Institute for Public and International Law in Heidelberg, touring European libraries and investigating possibilities for an international network of legal libraries and documentation centers. In 2000, he spent a sabbatical at the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law in Lausanne and at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies in London, researching issues in cultural property policy and digital preservation.

His professional activities include service on many law school inspection teams for the American Bar Association and on many committees of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). He chaired the AALS Committee on Libraries and Technology in 2004. He is the past-president of the New England Law Library Consortium, past chair of the Executive Group for the Shared Resources Program of the Research Libraries Group, and was a founding participant of the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN).

Martin is married to a former nurse who is now an expert in African art, particularly textiles. They have two children, one a choral conductor and one a crime analyst. He played the French horn, trombone, and baritone horn professionally. He is still an active trumpet and cornet player.

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Tarlton Law Library

Contacts: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or, or Brian Quigley, Associate Director for Administration and Collection Services, Tarlton Law Library, 512-471-6228,