Since September 5th, 2001, the Virtual Law Library of UNAM's IIJ has provided legal scholars with free full texts from books, journals and other materials under an Open Access policy.
At first the project sought to relieve the scarcity of the legal texts needed for law studies. Such reading material was hard to find in public or university libraries throughout the country, and this was noticed by experienced researchers of this Institute who teach in those institutions. The goal is to use technology to open the access to digital materials, mostly from the series published by the Institute, as well as works of other publishing houses.
The Virtual Law Library offers works provided by several national and international institutions, most of them academic, that have granted permission to publish their materials through exchange mechanisms.
The idea is for the project to emulate the experience of walking around a library, moving beyond the experience of obtaining results from a more or less advanced catalog search. We hope that it will become a useful instrument for lending books across different libraries, and of course that it will help librarians to come closer rogether.
At least two or three full-text publications are uploaded to the library every day, and several hundred periodical reviews and collective works published by the IIJ are already available on that platform. As of this moment, the Virtual Law Library has become a digital repository of several reviews and books published by other institutes, which refer users to this site as a source of legal information.
This project is worth a continued effort, simply because it makes it easier to access the Institute's books and journals.