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95 Law Libr. J. 347 (2003)
Thomas S. Dabagh and the Institutional Beginnings of the UCLA Law Library: A Cautionary Tale

handle is hein.journals/llj95 and id is 349 raw text is: AALL Centennial Feature*

Thomas S. Dabagh and the Institutional Beginnings
of the UCLA Law Library: A Cautionary Tale**
Renee Y. Rastorfer***
Ms. Rastorfer tells the story of the memorable set of characters and political
circumstances involved in the creation and early development of the law
library of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. It is a story
of loyalty oaths, decanal power and a principled law librarian.
1 On July 18, 1947, California Governor Earl Warren signed Assembly Bill 1361,
providing a $1 million appropriation for the construction of a law school at the
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Assemblyman (later Judge)
William Rosenthal sponsored the bill. He wanted a public law school in southern
California so that men and women from his district, Boyle Heights, as well as oth-
ers, would have a convenient and affordable place at which to pursue a legal edu-
cation. The University of Southern California was too expensive for most, and
traveling north to the law schools at the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt
Hall) or Stanford was out of the question. Rosenthal met with little resistance,
although a lobbyist for the University of California, Berkeley tried to dissuade
him by claiming that Los Angeles was too provincial, and that we had no right
to ask for a law school .... I told him      we pay half the taxes and we have half the
* Editor's Note: The American Association of Law Libraries was founded on July 2, 1906, by a hand-
ful of law librarians who met during the annual conference of the American Library Association at
Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island. To commemorate the AALL Centennial that will be celebrated with
a year-long series of events and activities culminating at the 2006 Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Law
Library Journal is including an AALL Centennial Feature article in each issue published through
2006. While the focus common to each article is the history of law libraries, law librarianship, and
AALL, the specific topics vary according to the interests of authors and readers. Individuals inter-
ested in contributing a Centennial Feature article should contact Frank G. Houdek, Editor, Law
Library Journal, Southern Illinois University School of Law, Lesar Law Bldg., Mail Code 6803,
Carbondale, IL 62901-6803, (618) 453-8788, houdek@siu.edu.
** © Renee Y. Rastorfer, 2003. This is a revised version of a winning entry in the student division of the
2002 AALL/LexisNexis Call for Papers Competition. I would like to thank Professor Cindy
Mediavilla, UCLA Department of Information Studies, for her steady encouragement and enthusiasm
for this work; Frederic Smith, UCLA School of Law Library Director Emeritus, for his services as a
sounding board throughout my research; Frank Houdek for his editorial magic; Dennis Bitterlich, UCLA
Archives Assistant, for many afternoons of cheerful searching on my behalf; and Paul Howard,
Foreign & International Law Librarian, William M. Rains Library, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles,
for patiently reading drafts of this article.
*** Law Librarian/Research Services, Gabriel and Matilda Barnett Information Technology Center and the
Asa V. Call Law Library, University of Southern California Law School, Los Angeles, California.

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