Moys cataloging system

Moys is a cataloging system designed specifically for printed legal materials. The following is an overview of how this system applies to common and civil law.

How does Moys treat common law and non-common law items in practice?

Moys was specifically designed for printed legal materials and differentiates between common law and civil law jurisdictions, and between common law countries’ primary and secondary sources.

Common law

For common law jurisdictions, Moys first separates primary and secondary sources into two sequences. The secondary resources are then arranged by subject, reflecting legal practice. This means that secondary resources on the same topic from across the common law jurisdictions are located together, which minimises time spent browsing and retrieving from many different locations throughout the Library.

Primary materials for common law jurisdictions will be classified with the Moys call numbers of KF for the British Isles, KG for Canada and the United States and KH for Australia and New Zealand.

Secondary materials for common law jurisdictions are grouped by subject first and then jurisdiction. KL will contain general texts, KM public law texts, and KN private law texts.

In a more specific example, books on contract law from common law jurisdictions will be brought together and classified in the call number range KN1-399. Within this range, contract law has the call number range of KN10-25. Within KN10-25 items are classified by sub-topics, and within each sub-topic they are then shelved by jurisdiction.

In the current library layout Chitty on Contracts is on Level 3 of the Law Library and A treatise on the law of contracts is on Level 2. Once the Moys classification scheme is in place, they will be collocated in the same area with the call numbers KN10 A1 C458 2008 and KN10 G1 W555 1990 respectively.

Non-common law

The non-common law jurisdictions, based on civil law systems, are organised differently, by jurisdiction before subject. The result is that the primary and secondary resources of a non-common law jurisdiction are shelved together, and then ordered by subject.

For example, a book on the ‘French Law of Contract’ would be shelved under Other Modern Legal Systems then Europe, at KV, and within the range of numbers for France 1101–1250, specifically KV1197.

How are international law materials arranged in Moys?

The Moys reclassification project will have a positive impact on the arrangement of the international law collection. International law resources will be classified at KC under Moys starting with journals then yearbooks, treaties, case law, and finally texts. In the current library layout, most of these are split across the Library of Congress call numbers JX, JZ, and KZ.

For example, resources related to law of the sea, that are currently spread across call numbers such as JX4408, KZA1145, and K1150, will be shelved at KC260 in Moys; and resources related to the arbitration of international law, currently at JX1990, K2400, and KZ6115, will instead be shelved at KC1250.

The Library will ensure that, in the new collection layout (once confirmed), shelving space at KC will accommodate the League of Nations material that we are receiving from the Parliamentary Library.

How will primary materials be arranged?

Moys was specifically designed for printed legal materials and differentiates between common law and civil law jurisdictions, and between common law countries’ primary and secondary sources.

Common law primary materials under Moys will be shelved at KF for the British Isles, KG for Canada and the United States and KH for Australia and New Zealand. Primary materials from civil law jurisdictions are shelved separately, for example, at KT for Asia and Pacific.

Primary materials will arranged by legal form: official gazettes first followed by parliamentary publications, legislation, law reports, and finally digests; for New Zealand primary materials examples include:

  • KH301 N49:     New Zealand gazette
  • KH309 P375:   Parliamentary bulletin
  • KH316 N49:     Statutes of New Zealand
  • KH341 N49:     New Zealand law reports
  • KH350 N49:     New Zealand law reports: consolidated digest.